When it comes to walking safely, children are at-risk for pedestrian injuries and deaths. 83% of pedestrian fatalities are age 14 and younger, and there are at least 5 teen pedestrian deaths each week.
A study of middle and high school students, as well as drivers in school zones show unsafe practices are contributing to the rising statistics. Distracted walking is prevalent with headphones, cellphones, and other handheld devices drawing students’ attention away from their surroundings and potential dangers. Other observations in school zones note that 80% of students practice unsafe street crossing, and 1 in 3 drivers drop-off or pick-up in unsafe areas adding to the chances of pedestrian injuries or deaths.
The statistics are alarming, but most child pedestrian injuries and deaths are preventable by taking safety precautions:
- Tell children to look left, right, and left again when crossing the street or getting on the bus. Teach them to never run or dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
- Supervise your children when around roads.
- Follow the speed limit and don’t load or unload children across the street from the school.
- Make sure your child can be seen by having them wear colors that are bright or reflective, especially in the dark.
- Use helmets when riding bicycles.
- Encourage your community to install traffic calming devices such as speed bumps and signs. 50% of pedestrians are less likely to be hit or injured by cars when these devices are installed.
Download a high-resolution file of Traffic Calming to Keep Kids Safe.