Danger for children of texting while crossing roads

 

Children are putting their safety at risk by being distracted by their phones when crossing the road, according to a report published today.

Despite a reduction in the number of children involved in road accidents in recent years, levels remain high – at more than 2,400 victims a year.

And the proportion of those which are under five is at its highest in a decade, says the AXA RoadSafe report. One in seven children killed or injured are under five (14 per cent) compared to one in 10 (11 per cent) in 2001. This equates to more than 300 children each year.

There is a need for road safety education, particularly among primary age school children, and this should include the responsible use of mobile phones and other handheld gadgets, says the report.

Pupils starting secondary school account for a third [32 per cent] of accidents during the school run.

“Today, 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 an increase from twice as likely 10 years ago,” states the report.

A spokesman from Road Safety GB called on parents to “warn children of the potential distractions and dangers mobiles can cause” and added: “Texting, playing games and making calls can be lethal to a child near the road.”

And Dan Campsall, of Road Safety Analysis, said: “The need to educate our children about managing their journeys, including the potential distraction of devices such as mobile phones, must remain a priority.”

Case study: 'I'm always using at least one of my phone or mp3 player'

Philip Williams, 14, of Liverpool, said: "I don't leave the house without at least two pieces of technology - my mobile phone and my mp3 player. And whether riding my bike or walking, I'm using at least one of them. It's probably not too sensible but it's what all my mates do too. I check for messages every few minutes when travelling to and from school so I've had a few close shaves when crossing roads because of it. 

"I remember a few weeks ago when I had my earphones in and was in the middle of a text when I casually checked the road and there was a car in the distance. I didn't think much of it until the guy started beeping me so I had to run across the road pretty quickly. That wasn't the first time it had happened so after that, I now take my earphones out and properly look out for traffic particularly when at busy roads."

Philip went on to say, "Leaving school is the worst time of the day for it because everyone immediately gets their phone out to check for messages. There are hundreds of kids at our school and loads of cars so I know a few friends who have also almost been hit by a car because they are messing with their phones or mp3 players."   

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has over 40 years ...

Recruitment Genius: Weekend Factory Operatives

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This high quality thread manufacturer is curr...

Recruitment Genius: FP&A Analyst

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A market leading acquirer and m...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fully qualified electricians re...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific