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Could Your Kids Pass a Pedestrian Safety Pop Quiz?

California children will soon be heading back to school. Before they officially hit the books, we suggest that parents initiate their own pop quiz on pedestrian safety.

Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are on the rise in the United States. Of the estimated 69,000 pedestrians who were injured in 2011, approximately 11,000 were age 14 and younger.

With this in mind, it is important that children understand how to walk safely, whether traveling to school or to a friend’s house to play. Below are the NHTSA’s top pedestrian safety myths:

Myth: A green light means that it is safe to cross.

Fact: A green light means that you should stop and search for cars. Before you step off the curb, look LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT for traffic, and if it is safe to do so, cross and keep looking left and right as you do so. Be alert for vehicles making a right turn on red.

Myth: You are safe in a crosswalk.

Fact: You may cross at a crosswalk but before you do: stop at the curb and look LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT for cars. When it is clear, cross and keep looking left and right for cars.

Myth: If you see the driver, the driver sees you.

Fact: The driver may not see you. Make certain the driver stops before you cross the street.

Myth: The driver will stop if you are in a crosswalk or at a green light.

Fact: The driver may not see you. The driver may run a traffic light illegally. The driver may turn without looking for pedestrians.

Myth: Wearing white at night makes you visible to drivers.

Fact: White does not make you more visible at night. You must carry a flashlight and/or wear retro­reflective clothing to be more visible to drivers. Always walk facing traffic.