Your kids will eventually need to know how to drive, and you should first teach them road signs. Even if you live in an area where you don’t think your kids need to drive, teaching them the road signs is a great way to keep them safe. Many road signs apply to pedestrians and cyclists, so it’s important that your children know these signs—or even know what the cars are supposed to be doing.
Fortunately, our guide can help you determine what signs to teach your kids as they age. Even if your kid is nowhere near the age of driver training, they must learn basic road signs to make their lives easier.
Teach Your Kids about Stop Signs
You can teach your kids about stop signs as young as five years old. Even if your kids don’t know how to read, they can recognize the red sign and realize that they need to stop when they see it. Teaching your kids about stop signs is an excellent way to prepare them to learn about where they can cross the road.
Talk to your kids about the fact that it’s safe to cross at an intersection with a stop sign, because the cars need to stop here and will be more aware of pedestrians. Jaywalking, either on foot or on a bike, isn’t safe because cars will be going faster and won’t be as prepared to stop.
Just as young kids can learn about stop signs, they can also learn about stop lights. These are easier for children to understand because they are based on colours. Playing “red light green light” or “stop and go” is a good way to help kids learn about these traffic controls. Your child could help colour a stop sign or stop light to use during the game.
Teach Teens What Different Road Sign Shapes Mean
Teenagers need to recognize the shapes of road signs because they will start driving in a few years. If you don’t know where to start, look at the most obvious signs like yields, stops, and railroad crossings. Teaching the shapes of each sign is a great way to help your teenagers associate shapes with actions.
Cheap Insurance’s complete list of road signs is a great place to start while you teach them what different shapes mean on the road. Learning the warning signs should be the first step in teaching teenagers how to drive before they get behind the wheel.
When driving, you can turn this into a game of “I Spy” with your children. They’ll have fun watching the road signs and you can discuss any new signs they see.
Show Your Kids Railroad Crossings
Like the stop sign, you need to teach your kids about railroad crossing signs while young. This way, while riding their bike or walking, they know to be cautious around the railroads, so they don’t risk stepping on a railroad without looking first.
Railroad crossing signs are also easy to recognize because of their large R, making it easier for you to teach your kids.
Teens Should Learn Highway Signs
As soon as your kids become teenagers, it would help if you taught them about the signs on the highway and what they mean. Speed limits, truck signs, and warning signs are all important highway signs your teenager needs to know before they drive.
A young kid might not recognize highway signs because it takes more reading, but your teenager should pick these up as soon as possible.
If you live in a snowy area, you’ll need to teach your teenager how ice on the road can affect their driving and the accommodations they need to make. The same applies with rainy weather. You’ll notice some highway signs on bridges that specify extra safety precautions during cold weather.
Ensure Your Teens Understand Speed Limit Signs
One of the main reasons teenagers or young adults get pulled over is because they don’t pay attention to the speed limit. Teach your teenagers about speed limit signs and what they need, especially in school zones.
Most school zones will have a posted speed limit that you can move at during the hours that school is in session. Your teenager must learn about the speed limits in different areas before driving to keep everybody safe and avoid a traffic ticket.
Of course, once you teach your teens about road signs and speed limit, be prepared for them to become back seat drivers watching your every move. They’ll help keep you accountable to following the rules of the road that they’ve just learned!
It’s never too early to start teaching your kids about road signs and safe driving.