Menu   WellSpan Health

Health Library

Health Library

Pedestrian Safety

Although fewer children are walking and exposing themselves to the risks of traffic, pedestrian injury remains the second leading cause of unintentional-injury related death among children between the ages of 5 and 14.

Children are at an increased risk for pedestrian injury and death because the traffic rules and risks often exceed their cognitive, developmental, behavioral, physical, and sensory abilities. In addition, parents and caregivers often overestimate their child's traffic skills.

One specific age group, ages 1 to 2, is at increased risk for nontraffic-related pedestrian injuries, such as when a car backs up in the driveway, parking lot, or on sidewalks.

Unfortunately, injuries sustained by child pedestrians are often severe.

Where do most child pedestrian injuries and deaths occur?

Many child pedestrian deaths occur in the evenings when visibility may be reduced. Areas that pose an increased risk of injury or death as a child pedestrian, include the following:

  • High traffic areas

  • Areas with a high number of parked vehicles on street

  • Areas with higher posted speed limits

  • Areas with no divided highways

  • Areas with few pedestrian-control devices, such as crosswalk signals

  • Locations that lack designated play areas 

  • Residential areas

  • Straight, paved, dry roads

How do I keep my child safe as a pedestrian?

  • Children under age 10 should not be allowed to cross streets by themselves.

  • Teach proper pedestrian behavior by modeling pedestrian behavior correctly, such as crossing at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks when available, and making eye contact with drivers before crossing.

  • Teach children to look LEFT, RIGHT, and then LEFT again when crossing a street, and to continue looking around when crossing.

  • Teach children that seeing the driver in a vehicle does not mean that the driver can see them.

  • Never allow children to run into the street.

  • Do not allow children to play in driveways, unfenced yards, streets, or parking lots.

  • When walking along a street with no sidewalks, teach children to walk facing oncoming traffic, as far left as possible.

  • At dawn and dusk, children should wear reflective materials and carry flashlights.

  • Teach children to cross the street at least 10 feet in front of a school bus.

  • Children should wait for adults on the same side of the street where the school bus loads and unloads.

Other preventive measures to take may include insisting on safer traffic measures, pedestrian walkways that separate pedestrians from the traffic, and lower speed limits.

Pedestrian Safety - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Roux, Susan L., ARNP
Last Review Date: 2013-04-16T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2013-04-17T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2008-11-30T00:00:00
Published Date: 2013-04-17T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2007-03-30T00:00:00
© 2015 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.


Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.