Road safety for children is always an emotive subject, and with daily headlines detailing the latest horror story on our roads or new statistics highlighting an increase in reckless driving behaviour or *gulp* car accidents involving children, it’s no wonder that it’s got people talking.
As parents we are constantly trying to keep our kids safe: don’t touch a hot stove; don’t run with sharp objects; don’t talk to strangers…. The good news (it’s not all doom and gloom) is that road safety is a great subject to add to your list. With the right approach, children can actually enjoy learning about road safety, as it is directly applicable to their own lives. It’s also critically important to help shape their understanding of and attitudes towards road safety to not only help keep them safe while young but also as they grow up; getting those all-important safety messages engrained into a child’s behaviour from an early age is vital.
Here are some simple steps for when tackling the topic of road safety with your little ones…
- Show them that traffic can be dangerous and hurt people. You can, with increasing frankness as they get older, share with them the sometimes shocking facts. If they know that road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among young people, perhaps they’ll stop and think before deciding against buckling up.
- Teach them the rules that they need to follow to stay safe; to buckle up every time, look both ways when crossing a road, always wear a helmet when cycling or get out of a car on the pavement side…
- Encourage them to speak out against dangerous behaviour. Let them know it’s okay to let a teacher or adult know when they see other children pushing each other into the road, running across roads without looking, or not doing up their seatbelts.
- Be age appropriate and as engaging as possible. Older children may initially think that road safety is for younger children, or boring, while smaller kids may not understand certain terms. The key is to avoid preaching. Be informal and interactive, and relate it where possible to their real lives.
- Be a good role model and mirror the behaviour you expect from them. If you want your child to buckle up, make sure you wear your seatbelt, every time.
- And finally…make them aware that they are not invincible; road accidents can happen to anyone, even them.
We would also like to share a few dos and don’ts for the parents that can help protect them and their kids when traveling in a car.
|· DO lead by example – educate your kids on the importance of buckling-up by doing it yourself||· DON’T drive unless every passenger in your car is using appropriate restraints|
|· DO insist that all passengers are appropriately restrained in your vehicle||· DON’T drive with rear seat passengers unrestrained|
|· DO make sure you use the right restraint system for your child, as use of the wrong one could put your child at a higher risk of injury or death||· DON’T hold your child in your arms anywhere in your car. Your child needs to be in an appropriate restraint in the rear of your car|
|· DO ensure that all children under the age of 12 are properly restrained in the rear of the car and not the front||· DON’T give into your child complaining about discomfort of the restraint – their safety if your ultimate responsibility|
|· DO understand that the safety of your child is solely your responsibility – always ensure they are properly restrained||· DON’T use an adult seat belt for children. They should be in appropriate child restraints|
If you keep these points in mind and apply them every time you get into your vehicle, you will help make a difference and improve the safety of the UAE’s roads. ‘Stay Alert. Stay Alive.’ is all we are asking of you.
For more information please contact:
Leanne Blanckenberg, Corporate Communications Manager, BMW Group Middle East
Telephone: +971 4 313 2615 or email: Leanne.email@example.com
Katie Johnston, Edelman DABO
Tel: +971 52 878 5281 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The BMW Group
With its three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 31 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2015, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.247 million cars and nearly 137,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2015 was approximately € 9.22 billion on revenues amounting to € 92.18 billion. As of 31 December 2015, the BMW Group had a workforce of 122,244 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.