December 28, 2021
Cheyenne, WY– With children returning to school in a few days, Safe Kids Laramie County wants to remind the community about the importance of pedestrian safety.
Unintentional pedestrian injuries are the fifth-leading cause of injury-related death in the United States for children ages 5 to 19, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.
In Wyoming there were 380 pedestrian-involved crashes from 2016-2020, averaging about 75 per year, according to the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Report.
“Teenagers are at greatest risk,” said Victoria Ingerle, Safe Kids Laramie County coordinator. “Teens have a death rate twice that of younger children and account for half of all child pedestrian deaths.”
“Whether children are walking or biking to school or just going outside to stretch and play, Safe Kids is encouraging all parents and caregivers to share and demonstrate the following tips for walking to school or to other locations safely,” Ingerle said.
- Teach kids to look left, right and left again before crossing the street. Then remind them to continue looking until safely across.
- Teach kids to put phones, headphones and devices down when crossing the street. It is particularly important to reinforce this message with teenagers.
- It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Children under 10 need to cross the street with an adult. Every child is different, but developmentally, most kids are unable to judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars until age 10.
- Be a good role model. Set a good example by putting your phone, headphones and devices down when walking around cars.
- Only cross train tracks at a designated crossing marked by a sign, lights or a gate. Trains may be closer and faster than you think so it’s never okay to rush across and try to beat the train. Also, avoid the temptation to walk along the train tracks. It might be a shortcut, but it is dangerous and not worth the risk.
ABOUT SAFE KIDS LARAMIE COUNTY
Safe Kids Laramie County works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Safe Kids Laramie County is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Laramie County was founded in 2000 and is led by Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. For more information, visit safekids.org or https://www.cheyenneregional.org/service/injury-prevention/.