No scream for ice cream
It’s that time of year; kids outside playing, having fun with their friends. With the nice weather comes more outside activities. As a father of four kids, I’m often tied up with getting involved with their activities such as coaching baseball, soccer and camping. Another common activity a lot of kids have is searching out for the mobile ice cream truck. But with the excitement that it brings to kids, it also brings risk to drivers.
I remember as a kid hearing the ice cream truck’s music coming down my street. It didn’t matter that I had just finished a big dinner and was completely full. I needed ice cream! I think that’s so common with most kids. I used to dash out of my house, look and listen to where the truck was and take off in that direction with money in my hand. I had one thought on my mind; ice cream. I wasn’t looking for cars driving by. I needed my hit of over priced ice cream to complete my day. And I needed it every day, not just once a week.
Many kids still have the same feelings I had and with that we, as drivers, need to protect our young citizens when the distraction of the ice cream truck enters our neighbourhood. Even though there are signs posted on many ice cream trucks to remind drivers to slow down and watch for children, they don’t. You can always expect the kids to dart out to reach the truck before it leaves to go to another location and then run back to show their friends and parents what they bought. If you predict that this may happen, you’ll be better prepared for it if it does.
I’ve been fortunate that the ice cream truck that comes down my street has always stopped on my side of the street so my kids didn’t have to run across the street. I’ve thought about telling my kids that when they hear the music from the ice cream truck that it means it is out of ice cream. I thought that may stop them from asking me. However, I never did say that to them; yet.
Now, a good way to tell if a child may run out from behind the truck is to glance under the vehicle to look for their feet. From a distance, this can be easily done. Since the wheels of the vehicle are the only part of the vehicle that touches the road, you should be able to see under the body of the truck. This will only work if you do this ahead of time and not too close to the truck. The angle from a distance is better to spot their feet than the angle close to the truck. All you have to look for is feet. Don’t wait until the feet are in motion toward your part of the road. Be a proactive driver and do something early.
Now that you’ve spotted the feet, reduce speed and drift toward the opposite side of the road, with no oncoming vehicles of course. This will give you more time to respond to the child running out plus it gives you and them a better angle to see each other if that does happen. After all, no driver wants to have a child creamed by a driver passing by.