19th - 25th November is Road Safety Week. An initiative from Brake, this annual campaign helps to highlight the dangers of the road and get us all thinking about ways we can keep ourselves and others safe.
Stats from Brake
Every 22 minutes, someone is killed or seriously injured on a UK road
Every day, six children are killed or seriously injured on roads in the UK
In 2021, 1,558 people were killed on roads in Britain, and more than 25,000 people suffered serious injuries
Brake aims to raise awareness and funds top care for road victims and campaign for safe roads for all.
Importance of road safety
Whether you're a pedestrian, cyclist, passenger or diver, with more people than ever on the roads, it's important we all have a sense of awareness.
It's a great idea to get kids engaged with road safety from a young age. The last few decades have proved that effective and comprehensive road safety strategies can reduce the number of people killed or injured on the road, despite increasing traffic.
A survey from RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) found that less than half of parents of primary school aged children said they'd received any road safety education training within the last 12 months in school. This means that parents play a significant role in educating their children about road safety.
RoSPA suggests that practical settings are best for educating kids about safety on the roads. The journey to school is a great place to start for younger children. Here are more tips for parents, broken down by age, from RoSPA:
Road safety tips for toddlers
Talk to them about how they must always hold hands with a grownup that they know, walking on the side of the pavement furthest away from traffic.
Make sure that hand-holding is the number one rule that your child always follows when walking near the road. If your child is likely to pull away from you, it may be advisable to use safety reigns or a wrist strap.
Speak simply about road safety in a way that your child can understand. If you use words such as kerb, remember to explain what that is. Even at a very early age, you can explain how zebra and pedestrian crossings work.
Talk about bright and dull colours and which are best seen at night.
The difference between footpath and the road
How to walk with a grown-up who they know and hold hands near the road
Introduce Stop, Look, Listen and Think
Introduce safer crossing places
Be bright be seen
Road safety tips for 5-7 year olds
Younger children might not understand that different situations require different responses and behaviours.
At this age, children should always be accompanied by and hold hands with an adult they know around roads, particularly when they are crossing the road.
Never let your child go near a road alone, even with an older child. If your hands are full, you can ask your child to hold onto your shopping bag or a pushchair handle.
How pedestrians walk safely on the pavement and vehicles use the road
How to walk with an adult who they know and hold hands when walking near the road
Safer crossing places and how to use them
The Stop, Look, Listen and THINK sequence
Places where it is not safe to cross the road
Road safety tips for 7-11 year olds
Children are ready to go outside and navigate roads alone only when they are aware of the key pedestrian road safety rules, understand them fully and can put them into practice.
Your child must also be able to demonstrate that they can accurately judge traffic and interpret how far away it is and how fast it could be moving, so that they know how long they have to cross the road safely.
Initially, always walk with your child to make sure that they are aware of and can put into practice the Green Cross Code.
The Green Cross Code and how to put it into practice, recognising safe crossing places on the road