Teens are Risk Taking Pedestrians

April 03, 2018, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Teens can be very frustrating. Often simultaneously hyperaware but obtuse, willing to learn about anything, but not willing to listen to you. They are self absorbed, still in the phase of development where their needs and perceptions are paramount to them. Their brains are still forming, and higher order reasoning is not fully developed.

This helps to explain some of the results of a recent survey completed with the help of FedEx. Parachute conducted a poll to help understand the phenomenon of distracted walking in teens. Distracted walking has been linked to a large number of accidents and fatalities in teen pedestrians in the last several years.

The study which involved over 500 children found that over 505 of them self reported being hit or almost hit by a moving vehicle (bike, car, motorcycle etc.). The teens polled were from across Canada and the group was made of males and females aged 13-18. They were asked why they thought they almost got hit and the answers were revealing.

  1. Almost 1/3 reported that the drivers were going too fast.
  2. 1/5 admitted to not looking before crossing onto the roadway.
  3. Almost ¾ blamed the drivers for inattention.
  4. Only 8% admitted to being distracted by a handheld device.

Researchers recognize that teens tend to engage in risk taking behaviours regardless of what they are doing (driving, biking, skiing, sports). The goal of this study was to determine whether they engage in risky behaviours while walking. The results confirmed that they do.

  1. 55% walk and listen to music.
  2. 41% text while walking.
  3. 33% talk on their phones and walk.

You can read the entire results of the study here. It makes for interesting discussion at the dinner table.

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