A guide to teaching kids about road safety


The most important skill for every kid is crossing the road. What about the others? Read on to get the full guide to teaching kids about road safety.

A report by the National Bureau of Statistics in Nigeria revealed that more than 1,200 people die every year from road accidents. Out of that figure, over a 100 are children. Furthermore, in the over 7,200 Nigerians that get injured during road accidents annually, almost 500 are kids. This staggering statistics is enough to show that kids need to be taught about road usage and safety.

You might not really bother since you take the child to school and playgrounds by yourself. But imagine what would happen when you look away for a second or if the teacher at school isn't as careful as you are. Instead of taking such risks, it's wise that you start teaching kids about road safety. This will go a long way in keeping them safe at all times and imbibing the good habits in them while they grow. Here's a guide you can use, provided by Naijacarnews - the leading online car news in Nigeria!

1. Teach them to cross the road

This is basically the first lesson every child should learn about road safety. There is the popular rule that says - stop, look left then right, listen and cross. Start by taking the child by hand and practicing the road crossing process. Let the child know that they need to stop at the pedestrian side walk and face the road. First of all look left, right and left again. Ensure you and the child can't see any vehicle within a 30 meter radius before you cross. Also listen to your surroundings to also ensure there's no car coming from just around the corner. Once you carry out this exercise with your kid often, they'll get used to it and follow the steps unconsciously.


The most important skill for every road participant is crossing the road

2. Fitting them properly in your car

Let the child know about car safety as well. There are certain features in the car to help with the teaching. Fit the child into their seat and wear them a seat belt. Depending on how small the kid is, you can consider buying a baby seat or just letting them comfortably on the passenger seat. Also let them know that they need to keep their eyes on the road and don't show any erratic behavior. Ensure the child isn't sitting too close to the dashboard and not too backward either. It boosts their safety and they get used to it as they get older.

3. Take walks with the kid

Asides the social and health benefits that come with taking a walk, it also avails you the opportunity to teach your kid about how to walk by the roadside. It's important to teach the child to work in opposite directions to the oncoming vehicle. This makes it easy for you to detect when they are erratic and gives you time to scamper to safety. If you also intend to take a bus or teach the child how to hail a cab, walking by the roadside helps make the lesson easy to teach.


Everything will be put into actual practice when you spend time walking with the kid

4. Getting into commercial vehicles

It's imperative to show your kid how to hail a cab, enter and share seats with passengers and also the safe way to alight. Many accidents in Nigeria involve commercial cars and teaching a child how to use one goes a long way to prepare the kid for what lies ahead in future. They need to know not to bring their head or hands out of the window, how to sit and to keep an eye on the road and on what the driver is doing.

You can also teach them to always look through the rear windshield to be sure there are no oncoming vehicles before alighting from the commercial car. This not only ensures their safety but also the safety of the car's door and the passengers inside.

5. Lead by example

Children follow the lead of someone they are close to or look up to. If they notice that you eat in the car, they will too. If you drink and drive or use your phone while driving, they'll believe it's acceptable. Once you yell at other road users or switch lanes recklessly, kids will believe its normal. So whatever you do, keep in mind that the child will learn it from you almost immediately. Hence the need for you to obey all FRSC codes of conduct - for the child to follow too.


Be a good example, children don't listen to you, they imitate you

6. Provide the child with FRSC resource materials to read

Talking about the code of conduct, the FRSC has a book known as highway codes. It contains all the road rules and traffic violations in Nigeria. Same way your child can read their school books, you can encourage them to also look through this highway codes every once in a while.

7. Wear bright clothes

Finally on the guide to teaching kids about road safety, you need to wear them (and yourself) bright clothes. This makes it easy for them to be seen on the road. When they see you dressed appropriately, they will take the cue as well.


Bright clothes attract the attention of other road users, warning them of incoming objects

>>> Read more about road usage and safe driving right here on Naijacarnews.com!