You’ve heard about distracted driving but what about distracted walking? Research from SafeKids Worldwide* found that one in five high school students and one in eight middle schoolers were crossing the street while talking or texting on a cell phone. The study also found that 39% of teens were wearing headphones while crossing the street and that girls were 1.2 times more likely than boys to be distracted while walking.
Teens are especially vulnerable. The organization said that more than half (51%) of pedestrian fatalities occur in teens ages 15-19.
Safe Kids Worldwide recommends that parents talk with their kids, especially teens, about the danger of distraction and the “importance of putting devices down when crossing the street.” They say you should start the discussion as soon as your kid first gets a device and that they should be aware of others who might be distracted and speak up. And, as with all safety advice, “set a good example.” Don’t let your kids see you using your devices while you should be paying attention. And for that matter, don’t walk or drive distracted even if your kids aren’t watching.