August means the end of summer is near and kids will start going back to school. Whether you have children or not, it is everyone’s responsibility to help keep students safe. According to the National Safety Council, the death rate for children, ages 5 to 9, "being struck by a vehicle” have decreased but we can always do more. As we get back into the routine of school zones and buses on the road, stay safe and alert on the road.
In 2013, 484 pedestrians ages 19 or younger died after being hit by a motor vehicle and 47 percent of those individuals were 15 to 19 year of age (according to Injury Facts 2015 report). In addition, the same source reported 16,000 pedestrians ages 19 or younger were injured in 2013. That is a staggering number when you think of "44 per day” being struck by a motor vehicle.
These deaths and injuries can be prevented. Teach your children to avoid distracted walking. Texting while walking is a specific distraction that should be eliminated. The National Safety Council urges everyone to remind children of these safety tips:
- Never walk while texting or talking on the phone
- If texting, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk
- Never cross the street while using an electronic device
- Do not walk with headphones on
- Be aware of the surroundings
- Always walk on the sidewalk if one is available; if a child must walk on the street, he or she should face oncoming traffic
- Look left, right, then left again before crossing the street
- Cross only at crosswalks
Drivers should also pay extra attention while in school zones. Texas legislators recently passed a bill that bans texting while driving starting September 1. Using cell phones while in a school zone is already banned unless the vehicle is stopped or a handsfree device is used. Eliminating distractions while driving is safe for those in the vehicle as well as those around the vehicle. Do not let one call or text change your life or someone else’s.
One Team. One Vision. One Goal. – Everyone Goes Home Safe!