Children learn road safety habits

September 21, 2012

Driving should be enjoyable by staying safe, respecting others on the road and obeying the road rules.

Young children do not have the skills and abilities needed to be safe in traffic on their own. Teach children to be safe in the car and as a pedestrian on or near the road is a good start.

Children need lots of assistance from adults to manage the considerable risks associated with road use, particularly detecting the presence of traffic and judging the speed and distance of oncoming traffic.

Children learn road safety habits by watching and copying others, so set a good example.

Ensure that your child wears an appropriate and properly adjusted child restraint, booster seat or seatbelt on every car trip.

Teaching traffic safety to your preschooler can ready him for big adventures such as walking to the school bus. It also can promote independence and awareness of potential hazards

The risk of a death or injury crash in an urban 60km/h speed zone increases rapidly even with relatively small increases in speed. The casualty crash risk at 65km/h is about twice the risk at 60km/h. At 70km/h, the casualty crash risk is more than four times the risk at 60km/h.

For pedestrians, the risks are even greater. A person hit by a car travelling at 40km/h has a 25 per cent chance of being killed. Increase the speed to 60km/h and the crash becomes barely survivable with the pedestrian having an 85 per cent chance of being killed

Speeding also increases stopping distances. A car travelling at 60km/h in dry conditions takes about 38 metres to stop. A car travelling at 80km/h takes the length of more than half a football field to come to a stop.

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