Online Program

Walking safely: Documenting trends and identifying opportunities for prevention

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Kristin Rosenthal, MEd, MCHES, Safe Kids Worldwide, Washington, DC
Angela D. Mickalide, PhD, MCHES, Research Department, Safe Kids Worldwide, Washington, DC
Background: This research examines 15-year trends in pedestrian injuries and deaths in the U.S. among children ages 19 and under. Methods: Fatality data was obtained from NHTSA's FARS database, a compilation of annual nationwide databases of traffic fatalities. Nonfatal data was obtained from NHTSQA's GES, based on a nationally representative sample of motor vehicle crash police records. Population data was obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau and combined with NHTSA's data to calculate rates. Results: While there has been a 53 percent decline in the pedestrian death rate and a 44 percent decline in the pedestrian injury rate over the past 15 years, progress has slowed recently. The most at-risk age group has shifted since 1995 when 5-9 year olds sustained the most injuries, to today when teens are at greatest risk. The death rate among older teens is now twice that of younger children. Injuries among 16-19 year olds increased by 25 percent from 2006 to 2010 when compared to the previous five years. Today, 14-19 year olds account for 50 percent of child pedestrian injuries. This increased risk among teenagers may be related to distraction, caused by the use of electronics and hand-held devices while walking. Conclusion: While there has been significant progress overall in reducing pedestrian death and injury rates, there has been a recent uptick in child pedestrian injuries, especially involving teenagers. The rapid increase in the use of cell phone and other technologies while walking by this age group may be responsible for this increase.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe pedestrian-related morbidity and mortality trends over 15 years among children ages 19 and under. Explain the role of mobile technologies in distraction among pedestrians. Identify opportunities for prevention with national and grassroots partners.

Keyword(s): Injury Prevention, Children and Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Kristin Rosenthal is the Program Manager for U.S. Pedestrian & Bike Safety at Safe Kids Worldwide. Kristin earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Studies and Psychology from Michigan State University and graduated from her undergraduate studies as a member of The International Honor Society in Psychology. She obtained a Master of Education in Health Education from Wayne State University. Kristin is MCHES certified and has extensive experience in health education and injury prevention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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