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Distracted walking is one reason teen pedestrian traffic fatalities are on the rise




Teen pedestrian fatalities are on the rise, in part due to a rise in distracted walking, according to Safe Kids Worldwide
Teen pedestrian fatalities are on the rise, in part due to a rise in distracted walking, according to Safe Kids Worldwide

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Here in the US, more than 5,000 pedestrians are killed each year. And deaths among teenage pedestrians in particular are on the rise, according to a new study released Thursday by the non-profit, Safe Kids Worldwide.

According to an observational study of 39,000 walkers and 56,000 drivers in school zones, both drivers and walkers engaged in risky behaviors. About 80 percent of students crossed the street in an unsafe manner, the report found.

While students were often observed using their cell phones while crossing the street, drivers were likewise distracted during school dropoffs and also driving at unsafe speeds, the study found.

Pedestrian-vehicle fatalities are the fifth leading cause of death for children age 5 to 19, according to Safe Kids. In the last two years, pedestrian deaths among 12- to 19-year-olds have increased 13 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Part of the reason: Distracted walking. Safe Kids reports that distracted walking increased from 1 in 5 to more than 1 in 4 among high schoolers and from 1 in 8 to 1 in 6 for middle school students.