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Watching TikTok videos, playing games on their mobile phone, and making videos on social media, are also said to distract children when near or crossing a road.
As a result, over half of parents (55 percent) of parents are doing everything they can to instil good road awareness in their children.
This includes walking local routes with them to build familiarity (38 percent), talking about road safety during walks (37 percent), and getting them to watch road safety videos online (29 percent).
Others warn their children not to listen to music when they’re out and about (40 percent), make them wear bright clothing (30 percent), and vet who they walk with (26 percent).
But one in three (32 percent) have even hidden behind lampposts to make sure their youngster was looking left and right – and 26 percent have secretly followed them to school.
To raise awareness of pedestrian road safety in the wake of the growing number of electric vehicles on Britain’s roads, an updated set of road safety guidelines for kids has been unveiled by TV presenter Konnie Huq.
ZenAuto, which commissioned the research, and also created a road safety quiz where users can test their knowledge, is supported by road safety charity Brake.
The newly developed “Green Car Cross Code” aims to upskill children – and, in turn, make parents feel more confident.
Konnie Huq said: “Electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles are great for the planet and for reducing pollution in our towns and cities.
“But they are typically quieter and can accelerate quicker – which is why it’s important that kids are tuned into modern road safety dangers.
“Just because they can’t hear a car, doesn’t mean there isn’t one nearby.”
Last year saw the biggest annual increase in the number of electric cars registered in the UK, with more than 395,000 battery-electric cars logged – a growth of 92 percent on 2020.
But the study found more than a quarter of children (27 percent) don’t realise electric vehicles are quieter than traditional fuel vehicles.
And 30 percent didn’t think an electric car can increase its speed more quickly compared to a petrol or diesel car.
It also emerged only two-thirds (68 percent) of children, aged between nine and 11, always look left and right before crossing – and 43 percent admit they pay less attention when around their friends.
More than a third (34 percent) haven’t waited for the green man at a crossing, while 36 percent have walked in the road instead of on the pavement.
And 28 percent have crossed the road without checking first, while 26 percent have run out in front of an approaching car in the hope that they will make it across.
To find out more about the Green Car Cross Code and to put your road safety knowledge to the test, visit here.
Gemma Bacon, for ZenAuto, said: “Our own data has shown that over the last three months, electric vehicles have accounted for 43 percent of all orders, on average.
“We’re not trying to replace the original Green Cross Code, which was made famous in the 1970s.
“This campaign is all about giving parents and children additional guidance to help them be more vigilant when they cross the road in the modern world.”
Mary Williams, OBE, chief executive at Brake, said: “Road crashes are devastating events for families, friends, and communities, and we see this first-hand through our work supporting families affected by road death and injury.
“By engaging children and young people with key road safety issues, and helping them speak out about the need for safe and healthy journeys, we can make our communities safer, help people to live active lifestyles, and stop needless tragedies before they happen.”
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