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Mobiles causing child pedestrian accidents

14 September 2013

The report, written by AXA Insurance and road safety partner RoadSafe, highlights the danger to children of being distracted by smartphones whilst walking to and from school.

Texting, tweeting, checking Facebook, surfing the internet and playing games on mobile phones could be responsible for a rise in the number of 11-12 year old children suffering road traffic accidents, says the report.

It states that 32% of all pedestrians seriously injured or killed during school run time are 11-12 years old and an 11 year old pedestrian is three times more likely to be killed or seriously injured during the school run than a 10 year old -this is a sharp increase from a decade ago, when an 11 year old pedestrian was twice as likely as a 10 year old to be killed or seriously injured.

The report investigated the ways in which children are distracted by mobiles during their daily walk to school:

  • An 11 year old is six times more likely to text on the way to school than a 10 year old.
  • 32% of 11 year olds log on to Facebook via their mobile while on the way to school.
  • 25% of 11 and 12 year olds say they have been distracted when crossing the road due to technology such as mobile phones and MP3 players.

Adrian Walsh, director of RoadSafe, confirmed that the report, “shows a correlation between mobile phone use and a slight increase in teenage casualties.”

The report recommends that parents of primary school age children should be particularly encouraged to educate their children about road safety - and that teaching responsible smartphone usage should be a priority during school road safety lessons.

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