How to create safer streets from Safe Kids Louisville

One in 5 middle and high school students are distracted while walking

You have heard plenty of people ask why the chicken crossed the road, but no one asks “how?”

The scary part is, if the chicken had learned to cross the road from humans, he would be looking at a phone or have buds in his ears.

Fatalities for pedestrians under age 19 was on a downward trend for more than 20 years. However, in 2013 the trend for teens flipped, with a 13 percent increase. This year alone, there have been 39 pedestrian deaths in Kentucky. Safe Kids Louisville, led by Norton Children’s, gathered data at four local schools for a national study. It found 1 in 5 middle and high school students are distracted while walking.

Keep you and your family safe

Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness has more tips and helpful programs.

A recent observation of a very busy street in downtown Louisville found that less than 30 percent of adults crossed the street correctly. Of the adults observed, 58 percent jaywalked when the corner was only 50 feet away! If adults are not safe pedestrians, then perhaps they are not teaching their children to be safe pedestrians.

Help create safer streets:

  • Be seen. Wear light-colored or reflective clothing at night.
  • Pay attention if you are the pedestrian. You will always lose against a car, so it doesn’t matter who has the right of way.
  • Cross at corners and obey signals. A little one is watching and will repeat your behavior.
  • Walk facing the cars coming at you. You need to see what they are doing.
  • Phones Down, Heads Up. Distraction — especially your phone and texting — is a major culprit in both pedestrian and vehicular deaths and injuries.
  • Leave a voice mail on your phone that says, “Sorry, I am either on my phone or driving. I will return your call or text when it is safe to do so.”
  • Pay attention. Be on the alert — especially for children.