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How to teach your kids pedestrian safety

By Ken Gibson on August 10, 2018

It’s a great but dangerous time to be a kid. With school, more children are out and about—walking, skateboarding, riding bikes, and crossing streets. Unfortunately, when children do these things, they have a greater risk of being injured or killed by drivers.

This is a real concern in Virginia: we had the third-highest rate of pedestrian fatalities for children (age 19 and under) in the United States in 2015! All drivers need to be reminded that more children are out during the summer, and to SLOW DOWN and PUT DOWN THE CELL PHONE.

But as parents, we can teach our children to act safely when near traffic, too. Sadly, Gloucester already had a fatal pedestrian accident in May 2018 on George Washington Memorial Highway. Let’s work together to keep that the only pedestrian accident this year.

Seven great tips for pedestrian safety

At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, we try to prevent accidents before they happen. So let’s review the most important walking safety tips we can all teach our children, based on advice from the NHTSA:

  1. Look left, right, and then left again before crossing a street, and keep scanning left and right as you cross. Teach this basic safety habit even before your children are old enough to cross a street by themselves.
  2. Always obey traffic signals. No exceptions to this rule, even if you don’t see any traffic.
  3. Do not to use phones when crossing a street or walking down a street. This means not looking at, texting, talking, or playing video games on a phone. Pedestrians of all ages should remain attentive at all times when walking on roads.
  4. Take off headphones or take out earbuds when crossing a street. Again, staying attentive is so important for staying safe.
  5. When possible, stay on areas designated for walking, such as sidewalks, crosswalks, footpaths. If no crosswalks are available, cross at street corners. If you have to walk on the street, walk facing traffic, and stay as far to the left as possible.
  6. Wear light-colored or reflective clothing when walking at dusk or at night.
  7. Never run out into a street when crossing. Never run out into a street to chase a ball or a toy.

As a parent, be a good role model! Set a good example by not doing what you don’t want your children to do. Put away your phone when walking, look carefully before crossing the street, and walk with purpose.

We strongly recommend that you don’t let children under 10 cross the street without an adult. Children under 10 are less able to judge a car’s speed and distance.

Our team at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys wants all children to be happy, fun, and SAFE all year round. Adults can help make it safer for them. Talk to your children about safe walking, teach by example, and take extra care when driving!

Call us if you need help

Unfortunately, having children follow the rules of pedestrian safety does not guarantee that drivers will follow the laws of safe driving. If you or a loved one are injured by a driver who acts carelessly, give us a call at (804) 413-6777. We consider it a calling to help those who have been hurt, and we will work with you to determine your best options for dealing with this difficult situation.

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Community service

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.