Crossing a road, for children, carries an inherent level of risk. Any time kids are around cars, parents tend to worry. A split-second mistake can prove fatal. But road crossings are especially hazardous because young children often do not have much experience on their own and may misjudge critical factors like speed and distance.

As you teach your child about safety near the roads in Wisconsin, go over these seven steps for a safe road crossing:

  1. Identify a safe location to cross the street. This typically means looking for an official crosswalk. Tell children to be where adult drivers expect them, rather than simply crossing at random.
  2. Always stop after reaching the curb. Make this a practice even when the road appears empty.
  3. First, look to the right.
  4. After that, look to the left.
  5. Finally, look back to the right a second time. This is the step that many children — and adults — often skip. It is a critical one, though, especially near hills or curves in the road, where a car could suddenly appear on a section of road that looked open just a moment before.
  6. After all traffic clears, walk across the road. Never run out into the street. Never try to sprint and beat the traffic when it is too close. If there is not time to walk across safely, then there is not time to cross. Wait for a bigger break in traffic. At a light-controlled crosswalk, simply wait for the signal to cross.
  7. While crossing the road, continue to scan back and forth to look for cars. Turn off any music or stop talking on the phone to listen for vehicles as well. Distraction can be deadly.

These seven steps can keep children safe, but they do not mean an accident will never happen. When a negligent driver injures your child, be sure you understand all of your legal rights to compensation.