Since 2013, there has been a 13 percent increase in pedestrian deaths in the United States for those ages 12 to 19. This equates to five teen pedestrian fatalities per week. What can be done to keep this upward trend in fatalities from continuing?
Safe Kids Worldwide has teamed up with FedEx to develop an educational and awareness program for younger pedestrians. The collaborative program offers a wealth of safety materials, including the “Don’t Get Hit by a Car” infographic that you can share with your teenage children.
Pedestrian accidents can occur in many different ways. Below are seven common ways it can happen and tips to keep it from happening to your teens:
- Walking while distracted by phones or headphones – Teens should keep their phones down and heads up when walking, especially at crosswalks.
- Crossing in the middle of the block – Emphasize the importance of your teen taking the extra time to cross at intersections.
- Walking at night in dark clothes – Remind your teens to be especially alert when it is dark out, and to make sure vehicles can see you before crossing the street.
- Not watching out for careless or distracted drivers – Show your teens how to look left, right and left again, and tell them to continue to be alert while crossing the street.
- Walking in the road – Teens should always walk on sidewalks or paths rather than in the street. If this isn’t an option, they should walk on the side of the street facing traffic and stay as far away from vehicles as possible.
- Not watching for vehicles that are backing up – Tell your teen to keep looking left and right when walking in parking lots or near driveways.
- Not looking out for additional cars – Remind teens to pause at each lane of traffic and look for additional vehicles on the road and to make eye contact with drivers before crossing.