Sound and Vision

What can I see and hear on the roads?

Hear: bells on bikes, car motors, sirens, diggers, reversing trucks, friends calling to me, adults telling me what to do, the peeping sound of the green man.

See: road signs, traffic lights, road markings, pedestrians, bicycles, cars, busses, trucks, tractors, motorbikes, road users following the rules, road users breaking the rules, child seats, seatbelts, bike helmets, reflectors.

Learning outcomes:

You will learn about

-How using your ears can helps when a car is coming that you can’t see.

-How different road users don’t always see things on the roads in the same way.

-That we use many of our senses to travel safely on the roads.

Look and hear

It’s not just those who walk, cycle or drive who share the roads. In this picture, you can see some people working on the roads, for example road maintenance workers. There are many we must show consideration to and be aware of.

Look at the children standing on both sides of the road. Who has the best view of the traffic? Can you spot anything that might be dangerous?

Watch and listen

Cars can suddenly appear without warning. They might have been behind the top of a hill, or hidden by bushes, trees, a bend in the road or a building. If you can’t see them, they probably can’t see you either. Use your ears and listen for the sound of cars’ motors. Can you hear if a bicycle is coming?

Blind spot

All cars have an area around the car that the driver can’t see from inside the car. It’s called the blind spot. If you are in a vehicle’s blind spot, then the driver can’t see that you are there. In larger cars, the blind spot is larger than in smaller cars. Be extra careful around parking bays and when you are about to cross the road.

Eye contact

Remember to never cross the road until you are sure that any oncoming cars have seen you. Try to get eye contact with the driver, and be sure that the car is slowing down and coming to a stop. Look both to the left and right, and wait until the car has stopped before crossing.


There is often a lot of noise around traffic. It can be hard to hear which sounds are coming from which direction and from which vehicle. The more senses you use at the same time, the safer you will be.

Did you know?

Ambulances, police cars and fire engines warn that they are coming in an emergency with flashing blue lights. They also have sirens, but they only use these if necessary. Why do you think that is?

Do outside

Go out in a group. Choose three different places to observe traffic.

Which place was easiest for drivers to see you?

Which place was most difficult for drivers to see you?

Why was it hard to see you?

Stand in one of the three places. Close your eyes and listen for cars. Can you hear the difference between cars getting nearer to you, and cars driving away?

Do inside

Draw and write about things you can see and hear on the roads. Try to imagine a normal day on your way to school.

Do you remember?

Try to remember some examples of when to use your sight and your hearing when on the roads.

How do you use your eyes when crossing a road?

What is a blind spot?