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Child Pedestrian Safety

Did You Know?

  • Eighty percent of child pedestrian deaths occur at non-intersection locations.
  • Teens have a death rate twice that of younger children and have accounted for half of all child pedestrian injuries in the past five years.
  • Developmentally, kids cannot judge speed and distance of approaching vehicles until age 10.

Working For Change

Safe Kids works around the world to teach safe behavior to motorists and child pedestrians and create safer, more walkable communities. This effort is all part of Safe Kids Walk This Way.

Safe Kids works with community leaders, parents and the media to spread the message about pedestrian safety, asking everyone to join in doubling efforts to make roads safer for kids. In addition, Safe Kids coalitions and partners around the world work to reach parents, families, caregivers, teachers and community leaders through the following programs and initiatives:

  • International Walk to School Day. In October of every year, millions of children from countries around the world participate in Safe Kids Walk This Way events for International Walk to School Day.  
  • Halloween Activities. On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a vehicle and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Safe Kids works to eliminate these tragedies through education and awareness.
  • Environmental Task Forces. Each year, coalitions around the country create local task forces with the goal of improving pedestrian conditions for children by making long-term environmental improvements. 
  • School Safety Committees. Safe Kids coalitions and FedEx volunteers work with school administrators, parents and other advocates to convene school safety committees. 
  • Decade of Action for Road Safety. Every 90 seconds a young person under the age of 25 is killed on the road. A Decade of Action for Road Safety is a United Nations initiative, which aims to save 5 million lives between 2011 and 2020. Learn how Safe Kids is working with partners around the world to help achieve this important goal.
  • PHOTOVOICE. A photo project to better understand and capture pedestrian safety issues in major cities across the globe.
  • Model School Zone. A pilot project to create safe zones around schools so kids can walk to school in safer environments.

Research

Safe Kids conducts research, including secondary research assessments, primary surveys, focus groups, behavioral observations and environmental assessments that reveal emerging issues for child pedestrians.

These research findings inform future programmatic development and messaging for awareness campaigns and public policy efforts. Safe Kids coalitions promote research findings locally and nationally to raise awareness of the dangers and gain support for community improvements.

In 2012, Safe Kids released a report on child pedestrian safety, “Walking Safely: A Report to the Nation,” which examined 15-year trends in child pedestrian injuries and deaths in the United States. The report suggested that distraction is becoming a bigger issue, particularly with teenagers.

Public Policy

Safe Kids supports the federal, multi-agency approach to dealing with implications of distraction. Congress embraced the federal commitment to coping with the emergent problem in the 2012 MAP-21 law. Learn more about what we do to advocate for child safety laws to reduce pedestrian injuries.

Partners

Safe Kids Walk This Way is funded by FedEx. This program is unlike any other because it relies on FedEx employee volunteers and encourages new partners, including public officials, public agencies, community organizations and parents, to join Safe Kids Worldwide coalitions to improve conditions for child pedestrians.

Safe Kids also works closely with Safe Routes to School (SRTS) on bike and pedestrian events around the country. Safe Kids runs a grassroots campaign with partners to encourage states and their transportation departments to devote commitment, funding and staff to continue the SRTS momentum.

Additional Resources

We also offer the following tools to teach and remind families about child pedestrian safety: