You cannot see them in the dark
In the autumn and winter, children are particularly at risk in traffic. TUV NORD provides parents with tips for a safe journey to school even in the dark, rain, and slippery conditions.
Early in the morning children are packed with heavy backpacks and travel to school by foot, scooter, skateboard or bicycle. In the midst of hectic rush-hour traffic, the wind and weather in the autumn and winter can be of danger. The danger of being overlooked in traffic is greater for the little ones.
In the dark season, parents should provide their children with bright, fluorescent or reflective clothing. This allows cars to see the reflective gear up to 160 meters ahead. Fluorescent materials in orange or yellow as well as large reflective strips are often available for backpacks. Even normal jackets, hats and bags can easily be retrofitted by ironing on or sewing on reflective strips.
Fashion concerns sometimes gets in the way of children's cooperation. By educating your children on the risks, they will better understand the context!
Children between the ages of six and eight assume that drivers see them since they can see the lighted car clearly. Younger children often interpret the headlights as eyes that can see everything. But even in the light, children are rarely able to accurately estimate distances and speeds. In the dark it is particularly impossible for them. Also, the reaction time of children is about three times longer than adults.
If you drive your children to school it helps to drop your kids off a few hundred meters before the entrance to avoid dangerous vehicle traffic.
It is no wonder that more and more parents chauffeur their children to school by car. A survey conducted by the Forsa Institute revealed that in 1970, 91 percent of elementary school students in Germany went to school on their own compared with only 50 percent in 2012. But driving your kids to school can also be dangerous as traffic near schools is increasing.
Even traffic psychologists demand that parents should trust their children. Even six to seven year old's can often handle the journey to school alone (depending on the distance). This is how they practice in critical situations. "In the beginning, parents should accompany their children and point out possible dangers," according to TUV NORD experts, although children are easily distracted and behave more risk-averse, especially when accompanied by other children.
Often children's attention diminishes if they feel safe. In the dark, fog or snow, even familiar paths can become dangerous. It therefore makes sense from time to time to check whether the once learned is implemented permanently. Particularly in the autumn and winter when familiar paths become more dangerous in fog or snow, parents should once again accompany the children's way to school paying particular attention to traffic behaviour.
Especially in the dark seasons it is important to send your child to school on time. With more time a child can better perceive the traffic and remain on the safe route.