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Summertime offers a reprieve from school-year activities, but once fall rolls around again life becomes much more hectic. Parents and kids have a lot of new distractions to deal with: carpools, early schedules, after-school activities, bus traffic and more.
As your children march out the door on that first day of school – and every day – there is really only one priority: Making sure they get home safe.
Back in 1995, children ages 5 to 9 were more at risk than any other age group under 19 for being struck by a vehicle while walking. Today, there has been a noticeable demographic shift. It is now much more likely a teenager will be hit by a car than his younger counterpart.
According to Injury Facts, of the 438 pedestrians ages 5 to 19 who died after being hit by a motor vehicle in 2016, 269 of those, or 61%, were 15 to 19 years old. We also know that about 44 pedestrians age 19 and younger are injured every day, often during the hours before and after school and peaking in September.
Over all age groups, since 2009, pedestrian fatalities have risen 46%, with nearly 6,000 people struck and killed in 2016.
The National Safety Council is focused on efforts to eliminate distracted walking – specifically walking while using a mobile device. Kids often don't recognize the dangers of distracted walking, as this eye-opening video by Safe Kids Worldwide indicates.
Before your children head out, remind them of these year-round safety tips:
Drivers have a lot to pay attention to in school zones, too, and there is never an occasion that justifies using a phone while driving.
One call or text can change everything.
A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention reveals that the
most common form of travel to school for students age 5 to 14 is the family car. That translates into a lot of cars in school zones at the same time. Eliminating all distractions is key to keeping children safe. Learn more about motorist safety around schools.