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Injuries Increasing due to Distracted Walking
As the school year starts once again, drivers will notice many students walking in the mornings and afternoons. Around high schools and college campuses motorists may see students out more often, walking to their next class.
Many of these students could be wearing headphones listening to music on an Ipod, talking on a cellphone or texting while walking. This may seem like harmless behavior, but the risk of injury due to a pedestrian and car accident increases substantially when a pedestrian is distracted in some way.
A recent study by Safe Kids Worldwide, showed that pedestrian accident rates increased 25 percent for those aged 16 to 19. Accident rates from 2006 to 2010 were compared with those from 2001 to 2005.
The increase in accidents has been attributed to the use of electronic devices by those in this age group. A study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project states that a teen sends and receives an average of 110 text messages each day.
The 16 to 19 age range seems to be the most potentially at risk group for a pedestrian accident. Many other age ranges have seen a decrease in the amount of accidents at a much faster rate than those 16 to 19 years old.
Pedestrians should be sure to pay close attention to their surroundings at all times. Motorists may think that a pedestrian will hear or see them as they approach, and make maneuvers based on these assumptions. Pedestrians that are unable to hear or see these vehicles may be placing themselves at risk of serious injury.
Source: USA Today “Report: ‘Distracted walking’ endangers teens” Greg Toppo, August 30, 2012.