The Importance of Child Road Safety

Thu 6th Jun 2024

Teaching children about the importance of road safety is vital to keeping them from harm. At Coodes we support Child Safety Week, the annual campaign (3rd-9th June 2024) led by the Child Accident Prevention Trust. The organisation aims to help families build confidence and skills in managing the real risks to children’s safety and use the campaign as a catalyst for thousands of safety conversations and activities UK-wide.

Road traffic accidents continue to injure or kill too many children across the UK. Between 2020-22, 1,731 children (aged 0-15) were killed or seriously injured in road accidents across England. And according to BRAKE, every 19 days the equivalent of a whole class of young children is killed or seriously injured on roads in Britain. At Coodes, we think this is unacceptable.

Rachel Pearce, Head of Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury at Coodes, reviews the importance of road safety for children and highlights ways you can help keep your child safe.

The importance of road safety for children

Children are one of the most vulnerable road users, particularly as pedestrians, to injuries and accidents. As pedestrians they are not experienced and well educated about using the road.

Children are particularly vulnerable for a number of reasons:

  • Younger children are limited by their physical, cognitive and social development, making them more vulnerable.
  • They can be more difficult for drivers to see because of their small stature.
  • Children may have difficulties interpreting various sights and sounds. This may impact their judgement of proximity, speed and direction of moving vehicles. Children find it difficult to judge the speed and distance of traffic until they’re at least eight.
  • Younger children may also be impulsive. Their short attention spans mean that they struggle to cope with more than one challenge at a time.

Top tips for road safety

There are several things you can do as a parent to improve your child’s safety around roads. The Child Accident Prevention Trust share several top tips:

  1. Get young children into the habit of holding your hand or use walking reins.
  2. Ask questions while you’re out to help them understand simple ideas like ‘fast’ and ‘slow’.
  3. You can start teaching the Green Cross Code from age five, encouraging children to stop, look, listen and think.
  4. Children will copy what you do, so try to avoid stepping into the road without checking for traffic first. This will help them get into good habits.
  5. The safest places to cross the road are on designated crossings designed to slow or stop traffic for pedestrians.

Parents and carers can get their free educational pack on the Child Accident Prevention Trust website.

What you can do if your child is injured in a road accident

At Coodes, we understand that serious injury to a child is one of the hardest events that any parent or carer has to deal with. In the immediate aftermath, compensation may not be top of your priorities. However, depending on the cause, you may be able to claim a sum to get your family back on track.

For over 40 years, our specialist personal injury solicitors have been winning child injury claims and supporting clients across the South West. We can help you secure the justice and compensation your child deserves, providing expert, jargon-free legal advice that will help you achieve the best possible outcome.

If you need more information or advice, our personal injury team is on hand to help. You can get in touch by using the Contact Us form or by calling 0800 328 3282.

Thu 6th Jun 2024

Rachel Pearce

Head of Clinical Negligence & Personal Injury

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