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Educating Parents to Support Children’s Road Safety

Task brief:



This Literature Review is to identify the propositions made by O’Toole and Christie in their paper about educating parents on children’s road safety measures. Educating parents on car safety measures and use of proper booster seats and seat belts seemed to have a positive impact on safety of children. But on the other hand, the impact of educating parents about cycling and walking on the roads could not be identified. The silence about including children from lower socio-economic backgrounds and differently abled children in the road safety measures and programs have been identified as a gap in literature.

It has been observed that there is a connection between ethnicity, deprivation and road accidents. The locations which are densely populated with ethnic communities have been reported to have more cases of road accidents. Road traffic injuries to pedestrians in these areas are very high. The Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community children are exposed to a higher risk of road accidents and injuries. The connection might sound strange but BAME and socioeconomic status (SES) are highly interconnected. Therefore, it has been noticed that the highest risk of exposure to road accidents is of this community. Pedestrian injury and accident rates have been found to be very high in these deprived areas.

Road safety measures and tips meted out to parents have been given out in a very homogeneous, monolithic way. Parenting patterns among the minority communities and ethnicities are not devoid of cultural practices specific to the community. The pattern of care-giving is very different in each community therefore these safety measures had very little or no impact on them. The measures have to customized, keeping in mind the practices and customs of these ethnic groups and communities. (Hwang et al. 2017) Parents of differently abled children have also pointed out the same exclusion present in the road safety measures. Children with learning disabilities and other psycho-somatic disorders have not been addressed in the road safety program offered.

Safety methods primarily involved in-car safety, cycling safety and pedestrian safety. In-car safety included the use of booster seats and seatbelts both in the front and rear seats for children. Pedestrian safety methods included avoiding certain unsafe routes and following specific routes with low traffic. Also, to help children learn the traffic signals, there were usage of rhymes, songs and poetry. (O’Toole & Christie, 2018) However, the impact of the same could not be fully judged although there was slight improvement in the statistics of child road accidents but nothing remarkable was observed.


O’Toole, D., & Christie, N. (2018). Retrieved 2 April 2021, from

Hwang, J., Joh, K., & Woo, A. (2017). Social inequalities in child pedestrian traffic injuries: Differences in neighborhood built environments near schools in Austin, TX, USA. Journal of Transport & Health6, 40-49.

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