Texting while walking is a rising heath hazard for American teenagers, according to a new study.
Safe Kids Worldwide has found that pedestrian deaths are up for older teens (ages 15 to 19), who now account for 50% of pedestrian fatalities among those 19 and younger.
The organisation directly links that rise to distracted walking. It ran a study that found one in five high schoolers was observed crossing the street while distracted (on the phone, listening to music, texting, or playing a video game).
While that connection makes sense — more distraction leads to more accidents — Safe Kids Worldwide offers no direct, causal link between the two — such as teens observed being hit by a car while texting.
In any case, the number of teens killed while walking still pales in comparison to those killed while driving (20%), by homicide (17%) and by suicide (14%), according to 2009 numbers from Teen Driver Source, a research institute at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“Other motor vehicle traffic-related” deaths count for 8%, just above poisoning and cancer.
Here’s Safe Kids Worldwide data:
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