Children in Traffic

Children react differently in traffic than adults. Why?

  • Children have a more narrowed field of vision than adults, it is strongly restricted to the right and left. They notice laterally approaching vehicles very late.
  • Children are not able to look to the left or right while running and they can not stop abruptly at risk.
  • Children can not see over parked cars. They see less and are seen even less well.
  • Children do not distinguish between seeing and being seen. If they see a car, they childrunsare convinced that they are also seen.
  • Children can locate sounds badly. So they often do not recognize in time, the direction from which such horn or engine noises come.
  • Children can estimate speeds and braking distances reasonably in advanced primary school age.
  • Children do not realize that vehicles have a stop and braking distance.
  • Short legs and smaller steps: Children need much longer to cross a roadway.
  • Children react quickly without thinking if they have to simultaneously pay attention to several things.
  • Children react spontaneous and thoughtless. They often just start running when friends wait on the other side of the road.
  • Children notice only the things that currently interest them. Other incidents are not noticed or considered unimportant.


Children are no small adults

Traffic rules

Many children know the basic traffic rules. In more complicated situations (crossing a busy street, cycling on sidewalk with parked cars) children often do not react adequately.

Children as cyclists

It is recommended that children (and their parents) only go alone on the road by bike, if they have participated at a traffic education course in a traffic school of youth. There, the children learn the correct behavior with the bike on the road.
Children should always wear a helmet when cycling!


What does this mean to as an adult?

Be a role model! Children learn by copying!

  • You as a parent should teach your children the basic rules of behaving in traffic on time before school starts, so that they can participate independently in traffic.
  • Cross the street only at the safest places (traffic lights, pedestrian crossings), even if it is connected to a small detour. At crosswalks, we first must all - not just the children - have eye contact to approaching drivers before taking the first step on the street.
  • Principally, as a pedestrian always stop at the curb even with little traffic and orient to the left, then to the right and again to the left.
  • If you bring your child to school by car, you should only transport it in an approved, age appropriate child safety seat and let it get out right at the sidewalk side.
  • Parents should determine the the best way to kindergarten or to school, together with the children and practice it with them. Be guided by your child so you can see what it is already able to do and in what situations it is still insecure.
  • The school and kindergarten children should go early in the morning after a proper breakfast out of the house. Stress and haste are dangerous. Also to storm out of the house "emotionally loaded" is not good. Fear, sadness and anger influence children's behaviour strongly - even in traffic.
  • Children should always wear bright clothing in traffic. An anorak or a school bag with reflective materials ensure security.
  • With your child, make an agreement on at which time you expect it for lunch. Children who always must be on time at home, are only able to compensate delays by haste and hurry. A calm request about the reason for being late helps.

Watch your children on their ways:

  • "Storms" your child on the sidewalks and even on the road?
  • Do your children go alone or with friends?
  • Do your children make any detours (e.g. to a shop)
  • Let your children distract themselves by playing games, jumping, running around or conversations from the road?

If your children do not stick to the agreed rules, rebuked does not help a lot and often even has a contrary effect. A conversation with friends and other parents about possible hazards and the repeated practice of the ways is the more appropriate means.

All adults should be role models for children. Please help to prevent accidents on the road!

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