The Importance of Road Safety Education for Children
Road safety education is essential when it comes to avoiding traffic accidents. A large number of them occur due to carelessness or unawareness of the rules. For that reason, it’s essential to educate children in this area.
Children who receive road safety education won’t only be less likely to suffer some type of accident, but will also become responsible and knowledgeable adults. They’ll become good, careful drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and passengers.
But who is responsible for teaching children road safety? Parents often think that other people will do it, or that the school will take care of it. However, it’s not a good idea to wait for this to happen.
Road safety education is primarily the parents’ responsibility, and the most important way is through their own example.
We’ll now look at some different issues in order to highlight and understand the importance of road safety education for children and adolescents.
Why is road safety education important for children?
Children, especially when they’re very young, use public roads either as pedestrians or as passengers. They’re always accompanied by their parents or a responsible adult.
Both parents and educators should encourage their children to be aware of everything around them. In that way, they’ll develop a responsible road sense.
This road safety training will help children learn how they should behave on the roads. In addition to that, it will give them guidelines to ensure safer mobility when traveling.
They’ll then understand the possible consequences of doing things wrong, and also the advantages of doing them well. This will undoubtedly help to define their behavior in the future.
It’s important to bear in mind that children still don’t have a fully-developed sense of reasoning or perception. Similarly, their psychomotor skills are still developing. Because of that, they’re still not able to make decisions regarding potential problems they may encounter on the roads.
Adults are the ones responsible for their children’s safety. Not only by going with them to ensure their safety, but also by teaching them the basic rules.
They can do this verbally, but the most effective way is always by example. In this way, children will gradually acquire the knowledge they need to behave correctly on the roads.
What is road safety education for children?
Road safety education for children isn’t just about teaching them traffic rules and signs or telling them how to be a good driver. You also need to incorporate other aspects of children’s evolutionary development.
Road safety should be integrated into a child’s daily routine, in the same way as teaching them to dress themselves or to clean. This will increase their safety and help to reduce traffic accidents.
In addition to information on signs and behavior, road safety education for children should also include teaching about values such as respect, responsibility, and sharing, etc.
We should also be teaching children how to look after, and look out for, other people who use public roads. When these habits are learned at a very young age, it helps to prevent accidents.
How to teach it to children?
There are some simple ways that parents can look to supplement the teaching that children receive at school regarding road safety.
One of them is to teach them to always look before crossing the street, even if they’re holding an adult’s hand. It’s important that they acquire the habit of looking both ways before crossing.
It’s also very important to teach them that they should always look for pedestrian crossings wherever possible. Similarly, we must show them that they should never cross the road when there’s a red light, even if the road is completely clear.
If children are on their bike, then they should be taught to always wear a helmet and look for safe places to ride.
By walking with them along the street, or by taking them around in the car, they can be shown the different traffic signs and become familiar with them. There are also some fun apps on your cellphone that can help in this respect.
To conclude, responsible parent behavior and leading by example will always be the best way to teach children about being safe on the roads.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Dirección General de Tráfico. (2014). Educación vial para el primer ciclo de educación infantil. Extraído de: http://www.dgt.es/PEVI/caminando/guia/guia_completa.pdf
- Fundación Mapfre. Cuaderno de educación vial infantil. Extraído de: https://www.fundacionmapfre.org/fundacion/es_es/images/mi-cuaderno-educacion-vial-primaria_tcm1069-222133.pdf