Monday, 24 September 2012

Fatality Numbers for Distracted Teens Increase

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Pedestrian accident fatality numbers in almost every category of pedestrians are down, but in one category of pedestrians -teenagers- fatality numbers are actually up.  Safety experts are pointing to increased distractions among teenage pedestrians, as one of the reasons for this increase.
Washington DC-based child safety organization, Safe Kids Worldwide has reported increases in the number of teenagers injured in pedestrian accidents.  Between 2006 and 2011, there was an increase of 25% in these fatalities, compared to the figures the previous 5 years.  An analysis of data shows that much of this increase is due to increasing distractions among teenage pedestrians, especially distractions from the use of electronic communication devices while walking.
Teenagers are also at a much higher risk of distracted driving, with teenage motorists believed to be at the highest risk of texting while driving and using cell phones while driving.  In fact, Las Vegas car accident lawyers find that distracted drivers seem to be responsible not just for causing automobile accidents, but also contributing to pedestrian accidents.
This is not the first time that researchers have pointed to a link between increasing teenage pedestrian fatalities and distracted walking.  In 2009, researchers from the University of Alabama published a study in the Journal Pediatrics.  The researchers put 77 children between 10 and 11 years of age through a study in which the children were made to cross a simulated street.  In approximately 50% of the cases, the children were distracted by a cell phone while walking. 
The researchers found that when the children were talking on a cell phone, they paid less attention to the traffic around them.  These pedestrians were likely to be involved in accidents, and were also involved in more near-miss incidents.