It’s Back to School season, and AAA has an important message for drivers: slow down and stay alert in neighborhoods and school zones.
Data from 2015 (the most recent available) shows that in 2015, more than 343 child pedestrians 17 and under died and 11,000 more were injured after being hit by vehicles. California led the pack with 46 deaths. Florida was second, at 36 deaths.
Data shows that the most dangerous hours for children to be walking are the afternoon hours. In the last ten years, one-third of child pedestrian deaths occurred during the hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
AAA’s New Awareness Campaign
AAA is launching the School’s Open – Drive Carefully campaign to help reduce the rate of unsafe driving behaviors in areas where children may be vulnerable. Here is a list of AAA’s recommendations to drivers:
- Obey speed limit signs in school zones. Speed can dramatically change the outcome of a pedestrian accident. At 25 mph, a person is two-thirds less likely to be killed by a vehicle than at 35 mph.
- Come to a complete stop at stop signs – more than one-third of drivers often roll through them.
- Put the cell phone away. Studies show that taking your eyes away from the road for just two seconds can double your odds of getting into an accident.
- When reversing, check your blind spots to make sure no children are crossing behind you.
- Watch for bicycles – children are often inexperienced and unpredictable while riding.
- Talk to your teenager about safe driving practices.