Schieber, R.A. & Thompson, N.J.

This review paper discusses the developmental attributes, affecting the behaviour of children, that make them more likely to be hit by a vehicle. Young children are more at risk than most adults in traffic, because they are likely to be exposed to traffic threats that exceed their cognitive, developmental, behavioural, physical, and sensory abilities. Piaget described four stages of cognitive development, which were based on children's ability to solve mental problems at various ages. Aspects of psychosocial development and cognitive development occur together, and may interact to modify the risk of an injury. Children on streets are most often injured when crossing a street. Children of various ages lack several of the necessary skills for coping with road traffic. Up to age about 9, it is difficult for them to plan a safe route. Up to age about 11, they do not reliably detect traffic, and inadequately process sensory input about traffic. They find it difficult to make correct judgements about traffic threats. They are worse than adults in estimating vehicle distance, movement and speed, judging gap acceptance, and anticipating driver behaviour. The paper finally discusses the effectiveness of school-based methods, intended to correct deficiencies in children's perception and judgement of traffic.

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I 887953 /83 /84 / IRRD 887953

Injury Prevention. 1996 /09. 2(3) Pp228-36 (101 Refs.)

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