Children are at an increased risk for pedestrian injury and death because the traffic rules and risks often exceed their cognitive, developmental, behavioral, physical, and sensory abilities. In addition, parents and caregivers often overestimate their child’s traffic skills. Children are impulsive and have not yet developed the skills to judge how far away a car is and how quickly it is approaching. Usually, these skills develop gradually and are not fully mastered until at least age 10.
One specific age group, ages 1 to 4, is at increased risk for non-traffic related pedestrian injuries, such as when a car backs up in the driveway, parking lot, or on sidewalks. Unfortunately, injuries sustained by child pedestrians are often severe. From 2002-2006, 9 children in Oregon were killed as pedestrians and 45 more were hospitalized in non-traffic related incidents.
Safe Kids Central Oregon and Commute Options have been awarded the Distracted Pedestrian grant from Safe Kids USA. This grant is providing Commute Options with the opportunity to view pedestrian safety from the lens of distraction. Their observational surveys has found that more middle school students are distracted by iPods and iPhones that they thought. The next step will be to incorporate this issue into their training. Meanwhile, they wanted to share this video that was made in the Fall of 2012 at Miller Elementary School in Bend.
Safe Kids Facts and Research
Walking Safety A report to the Nation, a 15 year pedestrian trend report that revealed some surprising findings was launched August 31, 2012.