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Now that September has arrived, there is a noticeable difference in the Central Wisconsin atmosphere. Although the weather is still unseasonably warm for this time of year, it is obvious that fall is upon us.
School started a few weeks ago, and we shared safety tips when driving through school zones. While we know this is an important piece in keeping our children, we know that there are more pieces that come into play. This week, we thought it would be nice to switch perspectives and list safety tips to share with the children in your life.
Sadly, each year, thousands of kids are killed or critically injured due to accidents with motor vehicles. We also know that many of these fatalities can be prevented with the knowledge of a few key safety tips.
- Always use the crosswalk
Crossing someplace other than an intersection is the reason for approximately 81 percent of child pedestrian deaths. Emphasize the importance of taking the extra time to cross the street at the corner.
- Use the sidewalks when available
Sidewalks can reduce pedestrian crashes by nearly 90 percent. Always use a sidewalk or path when it’s there. If there are no sidewalks on the road, be sure to walk facing traffic and as far away from the vehicles as possible. If walking at night, wear brightly colored clothing so you can easily be seen.
- Stay alert
According to a recent study, 1 in 5 high school kids crosses the street while distracted – meaning they are either playing on their mobile phone or listening to headphones. Talk to your children and make sure they are paying full attention while crossing the street. Remember to take your own advice, if you put your phone down, then they will likely do the same.
- Watch for second cars
While many cars will stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, there is still the chance that someone behind them may not. Remember to pause at each lane or intersection and make eye contact with the drivers to avoid an accident.
Walking may seem like a monotonous activity to many teens and children, but it’s so important to pay attention. Please take the time to talk with your kids and grandkids about good pedestrian safety habits, both now and throughout the school year. We can all work to reduce pedestrian injuries in Wisconsin.
Safe travels from Lions Pride!