As school gets back in session, parents have lots to think about when it comes to keeping their kids safe. We know that distracted driving is a major issue for teens, but did you know that pedestrian accidents caused by distracted walking is also a very real danger?
A study done by Safe Kids Worldwide found that one in five high school students and one in eight middle school students crosses the street while distracted. These distractions included typing on a phone, listening to music, talking on the phone, or using an electronic device such as a tablet.
WHAT’S AT RISK WHEN KIDS ARE DISTRACTED WHILE WALKING?
In another study, Safe Kids Worldwide found that an average of 61 children are hit by cars everyday in the United States. These accidents occurred most often before and after school. And yet even an another study found that 16,000 pedestrians 19 and younger were injured in 2013.
We all know that we can’t always count on the driver to pay full attention, especially if they have a car full of busy kids themselves. One of the best ways that you can protect your kids is to periodically review safety tips with them.
PEDESTRIAN SAFETY TIPS TO SHARE WITH YOUR KIDS:
- Talk to your kids about the dangers of distracted walking. Make sure they know not to count on the driver to pay attention.
- Ask your kids to put, and keep, their electronic devices away until they are in a safe area away from cars and streets.
- If your child must use their phone or other device, teach them to stay on the sidewalk and move out of the way of others.
- Do not let your kids wear headphones while walking or bike riding.
- Remind your children to cross only at cross walks.
- Set a good example. Don’t use your own electronic devices while driving, walking or bike riding.
As drivers, we also have a responsibility to pay attention to our surroundings. A kid with their head in the clouds and their hands on a cell phone might not even look where they are walking.
BACK TO SCHOOL SAFETY REMINDERS FOR NEW AND EXPERIENCED DRIVERS
- Be extra alert in school zones, around parks, and anywhere you see pedestrian activity.
- Look both ways and drive slowly.
- Obey school zone speed limits.
- Come to a complete stop at stop signs and stoplights. Look for pedestrians or bicyclists in front of and behind your car before moving.
Even with our best efforts, accidents happen. If your loved one has been seriously injured as the result of the negligence of someone else, please don’t hesitate to call our office for a free and confidential consultation. We can be reached at (305) 662-6178.
1 in 5 High School Students Crosses the Street While Distracted by Technology. (2013, August 26). Retrieved August 24, 2016, from http://www.safekids.org/press-release/1-5-high-school-students-crosses-street-while-distracted-technology
Head Up, Phone Down When Headed Back to School. (n.d.). Retrieved August 24, 2016, from http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/back-to-school-safety-tips.aspx