Distraction Puts Teens in Peril — Whether Walking or Driving

We’ve got a lot to get done during the day. That’s why many of us multitask. We walk and we use our phones, whether it’s making calling, sending texts, using the internet or sending emails. What we need to remember to do is look out for motorists when doing this along our roadways.

According to NBC News, the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities is on the rise among teen walkers. The truth of the matter is that walkers need to be on the lookout for passing traffic just as much as motorists.
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Officials recently conducted a study into the pedestrian injuries of walkers aged 16- to 19 and determined that they increased by about 26 percent. Teens who were ages 14- to 19 accounted for about half of all of the child pedestrian injuries. SafeKids, a worldwide nonprofit organization, looked at these numbers from 1995 through 2010. Using information from the Census Bureau and from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), organization leaders determined that the fatality rate among older teens is currently twice that of their younger siblings.

Our Asheville personal injury attorneys understand that many might be blaming the pedestrians for these accidents, but it’s the drivers who are most often to blame. Trouble is, that’s often little solace to a pedestrian who is seriously injured in a crash.

Drivers know they need to be on the lookout for unexpected road hazards, pedestrians and other dangers. The problem is that many of them are traveling while distracted as well.

“In addition to the increase in pedestrian injuries we saw among older teenagers, we also examined numerous outside reports about how much mobile use has increased among teens, ” says Kate Carr, the CEO and President of SafeKids.

According to Safe Kids, September and October are the deadliest months for pedestrian accidents among teens. This is when the weather is warm, they’re hooking up with new friends in school and they are out in force before the weather turns cold. For this reason, a number of schools in the area have offered students programs aimed at increasing pedestrian-safety awareness.

Andrea Gielen, Johns Hopkins Center director, says that we need to teach young travelers early. One of the first things that we should do is to never let kids under the age of 10 cross the street by themselves. When crossing with them, it’s critical that you display the safest walking habits that they should follow as they mature.

It’s also important that we teach our young ones to never rely on drivers. Oftentimes, pedestrians are completely overlooked by drivers. You should make your travels as predictable as possible and you should always wear brightly-colored clothing to make yourself as visible as possible to motorists — particularly when walking at night.

And that last is an apt reminder as it seemingly gets darker earlier with each passing week as we head into autumn. We can work to reduce the risks for everyone. It just takes a little time, a little effort, a little compassion and a little awareness.

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation. Call 1-800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:

Put down the phone and walk! Teen pedestrian injuries on rise, by Jacoba Urist, NBC News
More Blog Entries:

Pedestrian Killed in Accident on Same Block as Husband’s Accident 8 Years Ago, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, August 18, 2012

Walkers Beware: Pedestrian Fatalities Up Despite Recent Decline in Traffic Accidents, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, August 16, 2012

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