Home » Autism Safety » Raising Motorists’ Awareness of ASD Children

Raising Motorists’ Awareness of ASD Children

March 15, 2021


Research has shown children with autism are more prone to being involved in motor accidents than neurotypical children—potentially because motorists are unaware of the challenges many of these children encounter when exposed to everyday traffic.

Raising Motorists’ Awareness of ASD Children

A lack of road-safety measures, coupled with the child’s inability to recognize danger, has resulted in too many autistic victims of traffic-related accidents and has caused growing concern among autism parents. Therefore, I see it as imperative to launch a motorist awareness campaign solely geared toward sensitizing drivers to autistic children’s challenges so that accidents can be avoided.

Road safety awareness-building could involve teaching flexible thought patterns and prompt problem-solving ability. For example, drivers would be taught what to do when a child seems to be lost in the middle of the road, when he/she is crossing and cannot hear the car horn’s sound, and other situations that may involve a child with special needs.

This type of campaign could teach motorists the characteristics associated with autistic children. Greater awareness is necessary because some children with autism wander away from safe environments into motorists’ paths without knowing it. They may come across scenarios that captivate their attention, such as an adult walking a dog or a fight between two adults.


Special Offer

Don't miss out on our special offer.
Click here to find out more

Some children on the spectrum experience difficulty understanding road safety features such as distinguishing road signs and traffic lights and knowing how to use them.

These challenges can come about due to many ASD children’s struggles with:

  • Reasoning: Some children with autism find it difficult to think spontaneously and prefer solutions immediately. For example, if a child has learned to cross roads with the help of the green cross code for pedestrians, he/she may be unable to cross a road if there is no green cross code
  • Communication: Some spectrum children experience difficulty encoding information from adults or expressing whatever challenge they may be going through
  • Understanding social contexts: Safety social contexts that apply when using the road might be difficult to understand for a child with ASD. He/She may not yet realize chit-chatting, playing with toys, or dancing while crossing roads is unsafe.
  • Sensitivity to sound, light, and sights: Some children may be sensitive to lights and loud noises and react with anxiety.
  • Forgetfulness/intense fascination: It might be that a child is in the habit of forgetting safety road crossing tips like “stop, look, and listen, then look again.” Other autistic children are fascinated by objects found on the road like cars, billboards, road lights, sirens, etc. Thus, they are likely to be distracted while crossing the road.

Creating an awareness campaign for motorists could greatly impact people’s driving abilities and emergency skills to reduce crash involvement and improve emergency maneuvers and collision avoidance techniques. Who’s with me?

This article was featured in Issue 116 – Enhancing Communication Skills

Support Autism Parenting Magazine

We hope you enjoyed this article. In order to support us to create more helpful information like this, please consider purchasing a subscription to Autism Parenting Magazine.

Download our FREE guide on the best Autism Resources for Parents

Related Articles

Teaching Safety Skills to Students with Autism

Teaching Safety Skills to Students with Autism

Read More
Autism and Law Enforcement: Greater Awareness and Training Needed

Autism and Law Enforcement: Greater Awareness and Training Needed

Read More
Raising Motorists’ Awareness of ASD Children

Raising Motorists’ Awareness of ASD Children

Read More
Ready to go Outside: Creating a Road Safety Checklist for Your Child

Ready to go Outside: Creating a Road Safety Checklist for Your Child

Read More

Helping Fire Fighters Better and Autism Families Develop a Key Partnership

Read More

A Look at the Connection Between Autism and Water

Read More

Autism and Wandering, How to Keep Our Loved Ones Safe

Read More
Helping First Responders Become Parents’ Partners

Helping First Responders Become Parents’ Partners

Read More
How to Teach Autistic Child To Ride Bike

How to Teach an Autistic Child to Ride a Bike

Read More
Lifesaving Lockdown Safety Tips Every Family Needs to Know https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/lifesaving-safety-tips-family-know/

Lifesaving Lockdown Safety Tips Every Family Needs to Know

Read More
Ways You Can Use the IEP to Create the Best Emergency Plan https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/creating-the-best-emergency-plan/

Ways You Can Use the IEP to Create the Best Emergency Plan

Read More
>

Autism Parenting Magazine