Driving tips during school holidays
WITH the school holidays now under way, motorists can expect to see many more children walking or riding their bikes on the roads.
It is imperative for motorists to drive more cautiously when sharing the road with children.
According to a study conducted in the US, children up to the age of 14 find it more difficult to safely cross a road as their perceptual judgment and fine motor skills are still developing.
MasterDrive’s Eugene Herbert recommends increasing the space you leave around children and slowing down when you spot them on the roads.
“If a child misjudges the distance between themselves and you, and darts across the road in front of you, you will have more time to slow down and take evasive action,” Herbert said.
“For children riding their bikes, leave a larger block of space around them when passing to account for riders who may not be as confident or for the greater chance of a young rider making a mistake.”
Drivers should also not take any risks when behind the wheel in residential areas where children are more likely to be.
“Pay extra attention when reversing out of your driveway. Resist the urge to go faster than the speed limit in these areas. Go even slower when going around corners as this is where you may come across children unexpectedly.
“Another instance where caution is advised is when going around public transport. Even though the speed limit may be 60km/h, slow down to 30km/h to be prepared for children who may pop out from in front of a bus or taxi without warning.
“Parking lots are another potential hazard with children. They are more difficult to see between parked cars.
“Children may also perceive parking lots as less dangerous because of lower speeds, but these areas are actually one of the most common sites of accidents.”
More children on the roads should also provide more motivation to avoid distracted driving. A few seconds adjusting your radio or talking on your phone is all it takes to miss a child on the side of the road who is about to run across.
Even as you wait at intersections, be aware of children who may be trying to cross.
Do not remove your attention from the road for a second.
TIPS FOR THE PARENTS
Where possible do not let children walk or ride on busy roads
Dress them in bright or reflective clothing Brush up on their road safety skills
Get off public transport with children in front of you
Always encourage children to be aware in parking lots and not to run in them
Teach them to be overly cautious when crossing roads.