This morning, as I opened up one of my weekly news feeds, a headline caught my eye:
40 percent of teens have been struck or nearly struck by car while walking
At first, I thought it was an article about pedestrian safety related to distracted drivers. I was blown away when I read that more than 400 out of 1,000 teens were hit, or almost hit by cars because THEY were on their phones. I’ve seen the videos on YouTube of distracted walkers running into light poles but, even as an employee in the safety industry, I never realized it was this serious of a safety problem.
In case you need your eyes opened like I did, here’s a few of the stats released by Safe Kids Worldwide:
- Safe Kids Worldwide surveyed 1,040 teens 13 to 18 years old about their pedestrian behaviors. Forty percent of the teens reported they have been struck or nearly struck by a car, bike or motorcycle.
- Among teens who said they had been struck or almost struck while crossing a street:
- 47% were listening to music
- 40% ran across the street
- 37% crossed from the middle of the block
- 20% were talking on the phone
- 18% were texting
- 8% were looking at websites on their phone
It’s amazing to me that, with as far as we have come in improving safety for our children, it still goes back to the basics: look left, right and left again before crossing the street.
But, it’s obviously time to make a few adjustments for this technology-driven world:
- Do not use phones or headphones when crossing a street.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing.
- Stay alert when it is dark.
- Cross at a traffic signal or crosswalk.
And parents, don’t stop talking to your kids about pedestrian safety once they reach their teens. According to this survey, it looks like they could probably use a refresher!
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