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Here are 5 safety tips go over with your child before they start walking to and from school and activities.
One of the most basic and important tips is to make sure you are visible to drivers. If a driver cannot see you due to blind spot or inattention, the greater the likelihood that injury may occur. Eye contact is one of the best ways to determine whether you are seen. Some helpful ways to stay visible include wearing brightly colored clothing and reflective materials, carrying a flashlight at night and avoiding being hidden by hedges, cars and buses before entering the road, i.e. if you are hidden, a driver cannot see you and may not have the reaction time necessary to stop if you dart onto the road.
Being a pedestrian is serious and requires your attention. Walk on the sidewalk facing traffic, walk sober, do not assume that a vehicle will see you or stop, do not solely rely on pedestrian signals, follow the rules of the road and be alert at all times.
If you see a car, wait. Do not assume that, because a pedestrian has the right-of-way, that the car will stop for you.
Try to only cross the street at marked intersections. Obey all the pedestrian rules of the road. Look to the left and the right (sometimes twice) before crossing. Do not create distractions for yourself such as cell phone use and head phones.
Plan your route. There are many apps today that allow you to plan your route before you even start walking. For example provides walking trails in the city of Sacramento publishes a great resource Map My Walk that allows you to plan your pedestrian route in Sacramento. Walking can be a safe and healthy activity if you apply the tips above. Doing so may avoid injury and may even save your life!
Pedestrian Safer Journey is a website that teaches parents, kids and teachers about pedestrian safety. The site has videos, quizes and other resources introducing pedestrian safety skills. The video below is a fun but informative video for kids to watch as the new school year gets started.
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