Teach children about the dangers of walking and texting
It’s Back to School season, a time when children and teenagers start walking to and from school. Not surprisingly, it’s also one of the top times of the year for auto-pedestrian accidents.
Remember the risks of collisions between drivers and children aren’t limited to the small fry. Teens and adults also are at risk, particularly if they walk while texting.
A recent study of two dozen young men found that those who texted walked as if they were robots, unaware of their surroundings. And it’s not only collisions with automobiles that texting teens have to worry about. Texting while walking also increases the likelihood of injuries from tripping and falling. Also potentially dangerous to do while walking: Listening to music and talking on the phone.
Teens are not fully mature and their ability to judge risky situations is not as developed as it will be when they have a few more years under their belts. Parents might consider taking a few minutes to discuss distracted walking with their children and teenagers. Reminders never hurt and research shows that repeated warnings do influence teen and child behavior. Also, consider showing them the numbers: Distracted pedestrians likely were a factor in more than 70,000 injuries and the death of more than 4,000 pedestrians in recent years.
Don’t have children? Keep a close lookout for children, “tweens” and teens as you drive this fall. Their lives depend on it!