Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tips for Walkers and Drivers as We Head Back To School

Reading, writing and arithmetic may be on the minds of kids heading back to school, but walking safely?

According to a study released today by Safe Kids Worldwide and FedEx, child pedestrian injuries are the highest in September. 

The study, which examines 15 year trends in child pedestrian injuries and deaths in the U.S., reported some positive findings and some startling ones; overall, the number of children injured or killed is down, but the most kids at risk today has shifted to a surprising demographic: teenagers.

**Infographic on the key survey findings**

Key Report Findings

·         Back to school time requires extra vigilance for kids and drivers
o    More children are hit by cars in September than any other month
o    The number of injuries is highest in months when most students end and begin school (June, August and September)

·         Teenagers are now the most at-risk youth for pedestrian injuries
o    This is a shift from 5-9 year olds to 16-19 year olds in the last 15 years
o    The death rate among older teens is now twice that of younger children
o    Safe Kids hypothesizes that distractions from digital devices could be a cause
o    The youngest walkers, those 1 and 2 years old, are also vulnerable because of their new mobility. Death among children in that age group are second only to teenagers. 

·         Overall, the number of children injured or killed while walking has decreased in the last 15 years
o    Child pedestrian deaths are down 53% and injuries are down 44%
o    Still, more than 61 child pedestrians are injured every day and 500 killed every year

Tips For Walkers

·         Developmentally, most kids can’t judge speeds and distances until at least age 10, so younger kids need to cross with an adult

·         Did you know most walking injuries happen mid-block or someplace other than intersections?  Whenever possible, cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks

·         Look left, right and left again before crossing the street, and keep looking and listening while crossing

·         Walk, don’t run, when crossing the street

·         It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths, but if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible

·         Remove headphones when crossing the street

·         If you need to use your phone, stop walking

·         Distraction among drivers is at an all-time high today, so try to make eye contact with the driver before you step into the road

Tips For Drivers  

·         Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones, before and after school hours

·         Most walkers are injured mid-block, not at intersections, so watch out for kids who may dart into traffic or cross where they shouldn’t

·         Give pedestrians the right of way at a crosswalk

·         Using cell phones, even hands-free, makes it harder for drivers to be alert to walkers who may also be distracted on cell phones

** The report was the third in a series sponsored by FedEx, who has collaborated with Safe Kids on the Walk This Way program to teach drivers and child pedestrians about safe behaviors and create safer, more walkable communities

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't of thought it would be the older kids who got hit the most. Maybe they are out later in the dark too! Cars seem to never obey the speed limit and that makes it worse. Thanks for the information. Great advice too! Rita Spratlen


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