Parents Can Dramatically Affect Their Children’s Future Safety by the Example they Set

People with children know how much their little ones like to emulate the things that parents do, whether it is an older sister trying to mother her younger siblings or a son playing ball with his daddy.

I took this photograph with my cellphone a few days ago, while parked and waiting for somebody. The mother has left her distracted little girl behind on what is a busy, parking lot road, with both of them seemingly oblivious to the danger. (Copyright image, 2019.)

For better or for worse, children also faithfully copy what they see their parents do on the roads, whether this is in a vehicle or as pedestrians (and this is research, incidentally, not just our opinion).

The photograph above was taken as described in the caption but I had seen the same family entering the building a few minutes earlier, that time with the little girl still engrossed in her cellphone but with the mother pulling her along by one arm. Even that scenario had me concerned because it would have been a good opportunity to teach the child that its important never to be distracted when crossing a road. However, at that point I was too slow to grab my camera and get a photograph. But when they came back out the situation was even worse, as the picture shows.

Sadly, there was clearly no chance of this little girl being taught always to stop at a roadside, look left, look right, look left again, and then cross carefully if the road was clear, and keep looking and listening for danger as she crossed.

The video clip above is from Britain (but remember they drive on the left and have footballs that are round!). This is just one recent, national television commercial from an ever-updated campaign that has gone on for decades

Here’s a question for all readers: How much part does the inadequate teaching of safety when crossing roads — either from parents or from governmental safety bodies — play in America’s very high road-death toll and in the catastrophically high number of pedestrian killed in the USA each year? It must surely be a factor, and possibly a very big factor.

Exactly the same goes for parents ALWAYS wearing seatbelts in vehicles — front seats and rear when applicable, and even when just going down your own driveway to check the mailbox before going to the store. Anytime a child sees a parent with no seatbelt, it gives them a reason or an excuse or a belief that a belt isn’t ALWAYS needed. But it is!

And the same goes for not getting angry with other drivers. Why teach your kids that road rage is sometimes acceptable?

There are scores of things that could potentially harm your child, or worse, on any road so please take the time to think things through. If you wouldn’t like your children to copy what you do when driving or walking, then don’t do it! Your good example at all times could quite literally save your child’s life in the future.

And what is needed from governmental bodies? Well just one of those things is an ongoing, research-based and target driven program of suitable PSA videos. The next clip below shows short excerpts from many of the child-targeted videos from Britain over the last 50+ years.

If ever you have questions about any aspect of road safety for your family, please come back to this Advanced Drivers of North America website (advanceddrivers.com) and use the Contact Us form to ask. If we do not know a particularly technical answer, we will know somebody who does.

As with our defensive driving and advanced driving courses, everything we do is research-based and/or best-practise driven because — no matter how well intended — mere opinion can be a very dangerous source in road safety issues.

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Please be aware that this website is registered with the United States Copyright Office and that punitive legal action for damages may be taken against anyone who breaches our copyright. This, however, does not stop you from posting links to any of our pages, and you are welcome to do so.

The two THINK! videos on this page are clearly not covered by our ADoNA copyright.

Getting the Scale and Seriousness of US Road Crashes in Perspective

It is effectively inevitable that road safety advocates will use air crash data to try to get people to understand the staggering seriousness of road crashes when compared to commercial plane crashes, but even then the true scale is rarely stated.

Wikimedia Commons: A Boeing 737 MAX 8 ‘G-TUMA’ TUI Airways (46886857481). Copyright-free photograph by Alan Wilson, from Stilton, Peterborough, Cambs., UK

The latest plane crash to grab the headlines is the tragic loss of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 that had just taken off from Addis Ababa, in the beautiful country of Ethiopia.

All of the 157 people on board were killed.

This post is not in any way here to belittle the tragedy of plane crashes, but apart from being numerically very rare incidents, the deaths from these attention-grabbing events pale into insignificance when compared to road fatalities — not only in the USA but worldwide.

8,350 plane crashes a year!

The 157 people killed on the Ethiopian Airlines flight is about the same number of deaths as just 1.5 days’ worth of road fatalities in the USA alone. And on a global scale, the plane crash created approximately the same number of lost souls as the roads of the world kill every one hour two minutes and fifty seconds — in other words, there are approximately 3,600 road deaths worldwide every single day of the year. Put another way, global road deaths are the equivalent of 23 air crashes on the scale of the Ethiopia tragedy every single day.

That would be 8,350 plane crashes a year.

What is it about this outrageously lethal situation on roads that the human psyche seemingly refuses or chooses not to ‘get’?

And now, President Trump has apparently signed an order, grounding all 737 MAX 8 flights because of two crashes involving this type of plane in a five-month period.

The scene of a fatal road crash we came across during an ADoNA advanced driving course in the USA. (Copyright image, 2012.)

For the USA, two such air crashes every three days would match the number of road deaths in any given period of time. Globally, it would need a similar-scale air crash every two hours and six minutes to create the same number of deaths as do the roads of the world.

However, the two 737 MAX 8 crashes got swift and firm White House intervention while the 37,000 [NHTSA figure] or 40,000 [NSC figure] deaths each year on the roads of the US get what? The answer is that apart from the crash-reducing effects of the 2008-2010 recession, not much difference in the number of deaths, year on year on year!

And yet the reason given by the President of the USA for banning the plane from flying was that it was “to protect people’s lives.”

All this means is that the inaccurate priorities start at the very top.

And herein lies one key reason why the USA is one of the very worst-performing developed nations in the world for road safety, with a per capita death-rate more than four-times worse than those in the leading nations. Indeed, if the USA could simply match the achievements of the leading nations, more than 27,000 American deaths and potentially hundreds of thousands of serious injuries would be prevented every single year.

Another extremely regrettable reason for America’s poor performance in this field is that even the basic US road safety standards do not meet the minimum requirements of the World Health Organisation in relation to poor countries!

If anyone believes this article to be unpatriotic or, worse, anti-American, please think again. This truly great nation certainly could do better and definitely should do better, for the sake of the American people.

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Please be aware that this website is registered with the United States Copyright Office and that punitive legal action for damages may be taken against anyone who breaches our copyright. This, however, does not stop you from posting links to any of our pages, and you are welcome to do so. [Wikimedia aircraft photograph excluded from ADoNA copyright.]

Drivers in Pick-up Trucks or SUVs are More Likely to Kill Pedestrians

There’s a new report out from the Governors’ Highway Safety Association [GHSA] regarding major increases in the numbers of pedestrians being killed on the roads of the USA, and one of the reasons given for this very regrettable situation is the involvement of pick-up trucks and SUVs.

The high, solid fronts of pick-up trucks and SUVs cause devastating and often fatal injuries to pedestrians and cyclists. By comparison, cars — with their sloping hoods and increased engineering to be safer in collisions with vulnerable road users — are much less likely to kill. (Copyright image, 2017.)

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The Need for Quality Driver Training, Even by the U.N.

Vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for UN staff worldwide, but sadly that can be no surprise because the same tragic scenario often applies to soldiers, even within actual conflict zones. And work-related driving (fleet safety) is in a similar category.

It has become common or perhaps just fashionable in recent years for some traffic safety academics to decry driver training around the world as something that does not work. This frankly is a preposterous belief and a new United Nations report clearly indicates this.

Driving through a busy village in a tourist area can oresent many different safety challenges.
This common scenario shows a whole host of potential hazards which with no disrespect we would challenge the vast majority of researchers to even fully identify without studying the photograph for some time — and even then probably failing to recognize them all — and that much time at one small point of a journey is something which drivers of moving vehicles typically do not have in abundance. (Copyright image, 2017.)

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Far Too Many Pedestrian Deaths on the Roads of the USA, 2018

It is human nature that if we consider it at all, we tend to think only about ourselves when it comes to highway safety, primarily the chances of us or our loved ones being killed or seriously injured in a car crash. But pedestrians represent about one in six of all people killed on America’s roads and we are all pedestrians at times.

Jay walkers crossing a street.
Hands up anyone who has never crossed a road where we shouldn’t have, quite possibly because we just couldn’t be bothered to walk to a crosswalk. As people get older we might get a bit wiser about this everyday occurrence but then age itself can make it harder to walk all the way to a proper crossing and perhaps all the way back on the other side. This, together with worsening reaction times, can turn the simple act of crossing a street into something deadly. Copyright image, 2018.

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