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Road sense - what age

(28 Posts)
ReallyTired Fri 08-Aug-08 10:53:19

At what age do you think your children developed road sense. My six year old is getting there, but I would not trust him to cross a busy road safely. He is quite short which makes hard to get a good view and his hearing is a bit suspect due to glue ear.

However what I do is I get him to "decide" when its safe to cross a road. I am with him and holding his hand and if I disagree with him then I gently hold him back. My son is getting very good and generally gets it right when deciding when to cross the road.

We also discuss what to do with park cars and picking a good position to cross a road. I don't let my son cross a road on his own I am a worry wort. It would only take one mistake to end up getting killed. Am I being over protective?

I find it unbelivable when people say that their ten year olds have no road sense. Surely it must be possible for children to learn to cross roads safely, on their own by this age.

Overmydeadbody Fri 08-Aug-08 10:59:01

I think what age children develop it is entirely dependant on how much practice they get and how much exposure they get and how early they start being 'taught' road sense. A child who never walks anywhere and never gets a chance to cross roads etec won't just 'develop' road sense suddenly.

A ten year old will only be able to cross the road on their own if they have been taught to.

My DS had good road sense by 4, I was similar to you in how I tought him and we don't have a car. He also cycles to school with me on the road so has learnt a lot of road sense through that too.

LynetteScavo Fri 08-Aug-08 11:02:16

Each child is different. My very sensible 9 yo can be trusted to cross quiet roads on his own.

Recently my 5yo ran ahead and stood a few yards down from a zebra crossing, waiting to cross the road. DH said "Have you no road sence?" Well, no, which is why he's not alowed out by himself. hmm

cornsilk Fri 08-Aug-08 11:07:35

10 is considered the 'average' age, but depends on the child. My ds is 10 and is okay to cross roads on his own, but not with other boys as then they're mucking about and not paying attention.
(Lynette - how is your boy doing?)

Twiglett Fri 08-Aug-08 11:10:34

I read somewhere that children don't actually develop the neural ability to judge speeds until around the age of 11

so firmly place 'road sense' at 11 no matter what you think your child's capabilities are

an ability to judge speed is incredibly important

cornsilk Fri 08-Aug-08 11:12:19

You are probably right Twiglett - don't know where I got the age 10 figure from actually, somewhere in the decayed recesses of my brain.

LynetteScavo Fri 08-Aug-08 11:13:03

He's great thanks - really enjoying the holidays. grin He had a fantastic school report, which made me cry. blush Fingers crossed he clicks with his new teacher in Sept'. How is yours?

Sorry to digress,.....back to the OP.... I have a feeling kids can't acurately judge the speed a car is travelling untill they are about 11.

ReallyTired Fri 08-Aug-08 11:15:53

"Recently my 5yo ran ahead and stood a few yards down from a zebra crossing, waiting to cross the road. DH said "Have you no road sence?" Well, no, which is why he's not alowed out by himself"

Well he must have some road sense as he had the sense not to run into the road. Road sense develops over time. An active toddler will have zero road sense where as a four year old will understand cars are dangerous, but find it hard to judge the speed of traffic. It is also hard to get a good view when you are 3ft tall and there are parked cars.

Saying to a child "have you got no road sense?" is very negative. It would have been kinder to say to the child "where do you think the best place is to cross this road? and Why?"

cornsilk Fri 08-Aug-08 11:17:22

Thats' fab! smile Mine okay - went to school with no probs for an entire half - term. Yay!!!

Op I don't think you're being overprotective at all - very sensible in fact.
There were adverts on aimed at teenagers and road sense recently, so I think it's something that even older children can struggle with. When they're with their mates common sense goes out of the window really.

wuzzlefraggle Fri 08-Aug-08 11:33:10

agree Twiglett, I read that somewhere to

JackieNo Fri 08-Aug-08 11:36:45

ANd apparently children and teenagers don't develop the peripheral vision that we take for granted until quite late - which is why they can't just take a casual glance around and stroll out like we sometimes can - they need to stop, and look both ways carefully, so make sure they register the vehicles that are coming.

ReallyTired Fri 08-Aug-08 11:59:32

I stop and look both ways carefully and I am 33.

Teenagers have perfectly good vision. In many ways teenagers are physically adults, the problem with teenagers is that they are immature. Sadly many of them think they are immortal.

Having less life experience is only going to make the problem worst. I think that shielding children from danger forever is doing them no favours. Children only gain maturity by being allowed to live.

LynetteScavo Fri 08-Aug-08 12:27:51

TBH, I didn't stop and look both ways untill I was pg with DS1.

apostrophe Fri 08-Aug-08 16:19:19

Message withdrawn

RTKangaMummy Fri 08-Aug-08 16:29:56

I think around 10 or 11

But today I had to stop the car when an old woman decided she wanted to cross the road without looking so I think it is something that needs constant thinking about

juuule Fri 08-Aug-08 17:42:21

According to my dd red book
"Children cannot judge the speed of cars very well. It is dangerous for them to cross major roads alone until the age of twelve".

MrsMattie Fri 08-Aug-08 17:44:09

I was crossing roads very carefully from the age of 7 or 8 yrs old, i think, but then we walked everywhere as kids and the green cross code was hammered into us from day dot. I am still, to this day, a very cautious road-crosser.

SlartyBartFast Fri 08-Aug-08 17:45:44

yes, i have heard cant judge speeds until 12.

although many teenagers still amble across the roads!!!
so perhaps there is only a small window of road sense.

ReallyTired Fri 08-Aug-08 18:35:09

"ReallyTired kids with hearing impairment are 7 times more likely to be killed on the roads. "

Where do you get that fact from? Do you have a link?

Also there is a HUGE difference between someone who is profoundly deaf and someone with a bit of glue ear. I think it would be a gross exaggeration to describe my son as deaf.

I'm got no plans to let my son roam the streets quite yet. He is still little.

bythepowerofgreyskull Fri 08-Aug-08 18:38:48

I think it depends on so many things.

Age appropriate teaching is important.
We live in a small village. so DS1 has learned to wait until he can't see ANY cars before he crosses the road. I know he can't judge distance so this is the best way for us.

He always stops. I would hate to have to teach him about all this with cars coming all the time.

MarsLady Fri 08-Aug-08 18:42:38

"Teenagers have perfectly good vision. In many ways teenagers are physically adults, the problem with teenagers is that they are immature. Sadly many of them think they are immortal." This is so true. My cousin's DS got hit by a bus after crossing behind another one whilst sending a text message. Fortunately he survived, though he spent a long time in hospital recovering.

My first thought on seeing the thread title was - I wonder if any one will comment on teens!

ProfessorGrammaticus Fri 08-Aug-08 18:45:07

Even if they can't judge speed they can still be taught to cross a quiet road - just wait until there is nothing coming

apostrophe Fri 08-Aug-08 19:12:34

Message withdrawn

ReallyTired Fri 08-Aug-08 23:14:43

I think that its a mistake to generalise and still wonder how statistics like this are compiled. Its a bit like the thread suggesting that deaf people should be banned from driving just because of one tragic case.

http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/2724/582229

It is hard to make sense of statistics when there are so many factors. For example children from low income families are more likely to be in accidents as are ethnic minorities.

A sensible child who is profoundly deaf in both ears is probably safer crossing a road than a child who has never been taught.

Neither article states what they consider what a hearing loss is. a 30 dB hearing loss is a nuisance rather than a major disablity.

My son's hearing as been as bad as 30 to 50 dB in the past because of scarring and glue ear. Even then he could still tell where sound was coming from even if he needed hearing aids to understand speech.

There is a child in my son's class who is profoundly deaf in one ear and has a 25 dB loss in the other. This child has no ability to determine where sound cones from. He is in a far worst position than a child with a 30 dB hearing loss in both ears.

Even if my son was profoundly deaf I would still teach him how to cross the road. All children need to be taught the skills for independent life.

apostrophe Sat 09-Aug-08 14:37:38

Message withdrawn

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