Child Safety: Streets and Motor Vehicles

Topic Overview

It takes a lot of repetition to teach young children about the dangers of streets, cars, and other vehicles. Motor vehicles can cause severe injury and death, so it is very important that you are not lax about enforcing these rules.

Help prevent an injury by following these suggestions:

  • Don't allow your child to play near the garage or driveway or around cars.
  • Make a habit of checking under and behind your car before driving.
  • Closely supervise children while they are playing or riding tricycles or bikes near the street. If possible, keep all activities in areas that are protected from the street and cars.
  • Don't let a child younger than age 10 play near or cross the street alone.
  • Show your child what behavior you expect, such as crossing streets appropriately at lights and crosswalks.
  • Reinforce looking left, right, and left again before crossing the street.
  • Teach your child to walk facing traffic on the far left-hand side of the street, unless there is a sidewalk.
  • Don't let children younger than age 16 ride on all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).


Other Works Consulted

  • Collins CL, et al. (2007). Children plus all nonautomobile motorized vehicles (not just all-terrain vehicles) equals injuries. Pediatrics, 120(1):134–141.
  • Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). Policy statement: Pedestrian safety. Pediatrics, 124(2): 802–812.
  • Gardner HG, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention (2007). Clinical report: Office-based counseling for unintentional injury prevention. Pediatrics, 119(1): 202–206.
  • Yanchar NL, et al. (2012). Preventing injuries from all-terrain vehicles. Available online:


ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics

Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics

Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014