Up until recently, most pedestrian safety focused on younger kids, teaching them to safely cross the road, obey traffic signs and navigate parking lots. But recently, the trend has shifted. Older teens now account for half of all pedestrian deaths among children 19 and younger. The increased popularity of smart phones, head phones and tablets have given kids an alternate option on where to focus their attention. And more kids are choosing to focus on the electronics rather than on the road.

1 in 5 high schoolers were observed crossing the street while distracted!

The research report also found that while girls were more likely to cross the street while distracted, boys are more likely to be killed. Teaching all kids about pedestrian safety is critical. As young people become drivers, it helps them understand the risks that pedestrians face and the risks they pose. For younger kids, it helps them understand that just because they can see the driver, it doesn’t mean that the driver can see them.

Child pedestrians are most likely to be fatally injured between 4pm and 8pm

Want some specific program ideas about pedestrian safety? You can learn about a walking school bus, which is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. There is also the Pedestrian Safer Journey, which has pedestrian safety videos aimed at specific ages of kids. It has videos, quizzes and resources for each age group. Think a comic book might be a better option? Captain SuperSafe (link to that comic) talks pedestrian safety. 

There are some more great resources out there for parents including the following:

  • CDC - Walk This Way: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s information on pedestrian safety. 
  • WalkBike to School: a nationwide resource that explains the benefits of, and encourages kids to, walk or bike to school.