Study reveals alarming statistics about children in school zones

WASHINGTON -- Crosswalks are supposed to be safe spaces, but a new report released by Safe Kids Worldwide shows alarming statistics for kids in crosswalks.

“We looked at 39 thousand kids walking to school and we also looked at almost 60 thousand drivers in school zones, the number of children and teens ages 12 – 19, there’s an increase in fatalities,” explained Kate Carr, President and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide.

Carr said the study shows distracted driving is a major issue, but it is not the only problem.

“We are finding an increase in distracted walking, kids are texting, they have head phones in, they are listening to music while they are walking and particularly while crossing the street,” Carr said.

According to experts, speed paired with distracted driving and distracted walking, can be a lethal combination, especially while trick-or-treaters make their rounds.

“At 35 mph, if you hit a pedestrian, the risk of them dying is 30 percent and the risk of serious injury is 64 percent.  When you drop that down to 15 mph, that risk of the pedestrian dying in a car crash drops to 5 percent,” Carr explained.

Safe Kids Worldwide is just one organization working to spread the word in hopes of encouraging communities to demand more crossing guards, cross walks, and lower speed limits.