School Safety: Walking and Biking

7437088_mIn an age where kids spend most of their time staring at a screen instead of playing outside, walking and biking to school can provide much needed physical activity. It may even improve your child’s academic performance. A 2012 Danish study found that kids who walked or rode their bicycles to school performed better on tasks that required concentration. Unfortunately, walking and biking to school can also be very dangerous if your child has not learned some basic safety rules.

Distracted Walking and Bicycling

Pedestrian and bicycle safety concerns have grown to include distractions. Texting and other device use, often while wearing headphones, have become an increasingly common cause of pedestrian accidents, among people of all ages. It may not seem as dangerous as texting while driving, but it can still mean the death of your child.

Teach your child the following basics:

  • Do not text, watch videos, or play games while walking.
  • Do not cross the street while using a device or wearing headphones.
  • If you must text or take a call, stop walking and get out of the way of other pedestrians.

Other Pedestrian Safety Basics

Possibly the most important thing you can teach your child or teen about walking and bicycling to school is that they are responsible for their own safety. They have to be on the lookout for drivers who are not looking out for them. That means watching for drivers who break the rules and violate pedestrian and bicyclists’ right of way.

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