Road Safety Education for Children: A Learning as Important as Mathematics
Road safety education for children is the best way to reduce accidents on public roads in Mexico: according to figures from INEGI, in 2022 there were more than 16,000 deaths from transportation accidents that could have been prevented with instruction and prevention.
Therefore, road safety for children involves forming good habits through the learning of traffic signs at an early age, from preschool to primary school.
What is road safety education for children?
Road safety education for children is a didactic and pedagogical process through which children acquire cognitive skills to respect road safety rules and thus prevent accidents on public roads.
Allowing mobility in physical space is a fundamental part of the development of the personality of girls, boys, and adolescents, and that is why the responsibility to explain the importance of road safety begins at home and at school.
Students crossing the street on their way to school, using a pedestrian crossing, as indicated by road safety education.
What are the benefits of teaching road safety from an early age?
When children pass the age of two, they begin to leave the sensorimotor stage (where they learned to coordinate movements and refine their senses) and enter a stage where they develop their preoperational intelligence: that is, they become capable of anticipating situations with the help of their parents and teachers.
Therefore, using the preoperational stage to lay the foundations of road safety education for children brings the following benefits:
Learning to interpret the meaning of traffic signs Knowing the content and importance of road safety rules Raising awareness about the road space as a public good for everyone Practicing values such as respect and tolerance while walking or cycling Normalizing habits such as wearing a helmet and seat belt Becoming familiar with traffic regulations and authorities responsible for enforcing them
What are the road safety rules for children?
Considering that it is public roads, any space open to the transit of people and vehicles governed by regulations subject to changes and reforms, it is best to promote a culture of prevention through these 10 simple road safety rules for children:
As much as possible, children should be accompanied by an adult When accompanied by an adult, always avoid using the cellphone Avoid using headphones while walking on public roads Stop before crossing streets by looking left, right, and left again Always cross streets at pedestrian crossings (zebra crossings) Wear high-visibility or reflective clothing when using bicycles or skates When walking in parking lots, avoid the path of vehicles in reverse maneuvers Pets should always be leashed on public roads Children should always occupy the rear seat in private vehicles Make eye contact with drivers of stopped vehicles when crossing streets
Road safety education: the key to road safety What does road safety teach us?
Road safety education for children is a process that must be carried out at home and at school, taking advantage of the preoperational intelligence of children over the age of two to anticipate risky situations and avoid accidents.
In Mexico, road safety is a matter of utmost importance since the World Health Organization warns that our country lacks clear rules regarding the use of seat belts, helmets, and the prohibition of children using the front seat in private vehicles. That is why a culture of respect for road safety rules is necessary.
What other tips are useful for teaching road safety to children? Do you know of any innovative examples from other parts of the world?