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Safe Kids Worldwide is bringing attention to the alarming results of a recent study showing school zones can be dangerous for child pedestrians. In their latest report, Safe Kids Worldwide observed 39,000 pedestrians and 56,000 drivers in school zones and found a disturbingly high amount of risky behaviors including distracted driving by drop-off drivers, distracted walking by students, unsafe speed limits, unmarked crosswalks and a lack of necessary crossing guards. NBC San Diego News Channel Seven also reported on the results of the research.

The Facts on Teen Pedestrian Safety

  • Five teen pedestrians are killed each week.
  • There has been a 13 percent increase in the death rate for 12-19 year-old pedestrians since 2013.
  • One in four high school students was observed distracted walking.
  • One in six middle school students was observed distracted walking.
  • Distracted teen pedestrians are most likely to be wearing headphones or texting.
  • Unsafe street crossing behavior was observed in approximately 80 percent of students.
  • Unsafe drop-off or pickup behavior was observed in nearly one in three drivers.

The Dangers of Distracted Walking

We all know that distracted driving is a dangerous and deadly habit, but what about distracted walking? It may be tempting to check email or text messages while walking to school or work, but it could put you at greater risk for getting hit by a car. Putting on a set of headphones seems innocuous enough, but even in school zones, pedestrians need to remain highly alert and vigilant for unsafe drivers. Unfortunately, we can no longer count on drivers to exercise the appropriate amount of caution and safety in school zones. Parents are encouraged to remind children that these areas can be dangerous. Teen pedestrians need to put the phones away and remain vigilant and on the lookout for unsafe drivers.

Community Intervention to Protect Students

Ultimately, we’re also counting on communities to increase safety in their school zones. This means high-risk school zones need to be identified and targeted with proper intervention like crosswalks, appropriate speed limits, and enforcement of speed limits, implementation, education and enforcement of safe drop-off and pickup behaviors, high-visibility signs, traffic signals and crossing guards and increased awareness and education for parents and students about safe walking and driving habits.

If your teen has been injured in a San Diego or Central Coast school zone, contact the skilled team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS.

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