Texting While Walking is Dangerous

October  11, 2013

Drivers aren't the only ones who text or talk while traveling. "Distracted walking" is now a growing trend in the US. And many of the "victims" are teenagers. A new report from Safe Kids Worldwide is entitled, "Teens and Distraction: An In-Depth Look at Teens' Walking Behaviors." 

Keene Hart, from the Quad Cities Safe Kids Coalition, says the study shows nearly 40 percent of middle and high school students text while crossing streets in school zones. And another 40 percent listen to music while going to school. Most of the rest talk on the phone at the same time they walk to school.  He says texting while walking is just as dangerous as texting while driving. 

In addition on Wednesday, the local coalition hosted "Walk to School Day" at Washington Elementary in Moline. In preparation, last week, Hart went to the school and observed kids walking to school. He says three of the eight kids on bikes failed to stop before crossing the street and walk their bicycles across. Volunteers gave children and their parents tips including:

  • Look left, right, and left again before crossing the street. 
  • Make eye contact with drivers to make sure they know you're there. 
  • Walk with your head up, paying attention to where you're walking. 
The coalition told parents to get to know their child's route to school, and asked them to check for hazards. Safe Kids representatives plan to meet with Moline officials to ask the city to fix problems, such as faded crosswalk paint, overgrown bushes that block sight lines, plus broken curbs and sidewalks.