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Teenage Pedestrians

11-16 Year Old Pedestrian Casualty Facts

Almost one in five (18%) teenagers reported having been in a road accident or 'near miss' on their way home from school. Research from the THINK! Road safety campaign has revealed that the majority of teenagers admit that they are easily distracted by talking to their friends as they cross the road. 30% felt that their mobile phones preoccupied them and took their attention away from looking for traffic on the roads. An amazingly high figure of 65% have admitted to preventing a friend from having an accident by either pulling them back out of the road, or calling out to them warning them of the danger they were in.

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Traffic is the single biggest killer of secondary school aged children and it is essential that teenagers are more aware of the issues surrounding their safety on the roads. In 2011 there were 60 11 - 20 year old pedestrian casualties on Cornwall's roads.

Safety tips for teenage road users:

  • Concentrate - you must be fully aware of what is going on around you at all times to stay safe on the roads.
  • Don't let mobile phones and i-pods distract you on your journey.
  • Look out for your friends, be mindful of your own safety and encourage them to do the same, don't follow them blindly into unsafe situations.
  • As a pedestrian you are much more vulnerable, and less visible, than when you are in a car. Make sure you wear fluorescent, bright clothing in the day and reflective clothing at night.
  • When crossing busy roads where there are a lot of parked cars, oncoming traffic may not see you at the same time you see them. It is important that you don't emerge quickly from between parked cars, edge out gently.
  • When you are in a group don't push each other or mess around near the road, try and pay attention to what you are doing, it is easier for cars to see you if you are in a group, just be sensible.
  • When out on the roads at night alone be careful and wear something reflective so cars can see you. Carry your mobile phone in case of an emergency.

Pedestrian Distractions

This is a road safety programme aimed at Year 7 pupils. It outlines the dangers of being distracted at the roadside, especially through the use of mobile phones.

The programme is interactive, with questions put to the class, and discussions between students and the deliverer. The programme begins with a discussion about the benefits and dangers of mobile phones, and how prevalent they are. Next, we show and describe how these can be distracting to people of all ages, and then we focus on how this distracts the students.. Through a range of activities the students experience this themselves. We ask how this could be an issue, and lead them on to think about when they are walking, and the consequences of being distracted. Suggestions and coping strategies are put forward and discussed to overcome this. Finally, the students commit to changing their behaviour and to start acting on one of these strategies through the use of personal ‘promise cards’.

The programme is designed to be an hour long, but is flexible to fit most school’s lesson’s length.

If this is of interest or for any other advice, please email us at roadsafety@cornwall.gov.uk