In honor of International Walk Your Child To School Day on Wednesday, Oct. 5, REMSA and Safe Kids Washoe County would like to remind people about the growing concern of pedestrian safety. Walking is great exercise and you can go almost anywhere on your own two feet. However, walking can also be dangerous.
Children age five to nine are at the greatest risk of traffic-related pedestrian death and injury. In many instances, parents may overestimate their children’s pedestrian skills. Most children are struck in streets or driveways near their homes when they dart out between parked cars, walk along the edge of the road, or cross in the middle of the block or in front of a turning car.
According to the Washoe County Safe Kids website, nationally, more than 39,000 children sustain nonfatal pedestrian injuries each year. In 2005, there were 339 pedestrian fatalities in children ages 14 years and under. The maturity level of a child under 10 years of age makes him/her unable to correctly gauge the speed of vehicles putting them at greater risk for injury and death.
Safety tips for walkers:
– Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk and you have to walk in the road, always walk FACING traffic, so you can see any car that might go out of control.
– Dress to be seen. Brightly colored clothing makes it easier for drivers to see you during the daytime. At night, you need to wear special reflective material on your shoes, cap or jacket to reflect the headlights of cars coming towards you.
Tips for Crossing the Street:
– Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks.
– Stop at the curb, or the edge of the road.
– Stop and look left, then right, then left again, before you step into the street.
– If you see a car, wait until it goes by. Then look left, right and left again until no cars are coming. If a car is parked where you are crossing, make sure there is no driver in the car. Then go to the edge of the car and look left-right-left until no cars are coming. Keep looking for cars while you are crossing, and remember, walk. Don’t run.
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