Walking Distracted

Fire Walking and texting2

Walking is great exercise and an easy, no-cost way to get around but just it’s important to be safe as you walk and not be distracted. Just like distracted driving, distracted walking is dangerous too.  It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Most injuries happen mid-block or someplace other than intersections. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic and as far away from vehicles as possible.

According to SafeKids Worldwide, one in five high school students and one in eight middle school students were observed crossing the street distracted. Students were most often texting on a phone (39 percent) or using headphones (39 percent). Girls were 1.2 times more likely than boys to be walking while distracted.

Teens account for 50 percent of all pedestrian deaths among kids ages 19 and under. And injuries among older teens are on the rise – an increase of 25 percent over the previous five years. Distraction is a likely reason.

Here are some safety tips to keep you and your family safe as you walk:

  • Put down your devices before you cross the street and then look left, right and left again when crossing the street.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street and to watch out for cars that are turning or backing up. Don’t run or dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  • Look up and pay extra attention when using headphones, cell phones or electronic devices such as tablets or games. Put these devices down when crossing the street. It is particularly important to reinforce the message with your teenagers.
  • Be aware of others who may be distracted—and speak up when you see someone who is in danger.
  • If you need to use a cell phone, stop walking and find a safe area to talk.
  • If you are wearing headphones, pull them down or turn off the volume before crossing the street.

For more information on distracted walking, visit: http://www.safekids.org/take-action-prevent-distracted-walking

Source: Safe Kids Worldwide

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 at 7:40 am and is filed under City of Watsonville, Fire Department . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.