Pedestrian Safety, Teens Ages 15 to 19 Years

Each week in New York State (NYS), 35 children ages 15 to 19 years are treated at a hospital because of a pedestrian-related injury; five of them are injured severely enough to require hospitalization. Children ages 15 to 19 years are at an increased risk for pedestrian injuries because they are more independent and frequently walk as a means of transportation.

The good news is that you, as a parent or caregiver, can play a major role in preventing pedestrian injuries.

What can I do to keep my teen safe as a pedestrian?

  • Be a positive role model and set an example for safe pedestrian behavior. Children and young adults learn by watching parents.
  • When dropping teens off from a vehicle, make sure they exit the vehicle on the right hand side onto the sidewalk or shoulder.

What should my teen do to be a safe pedestrian?

Teens should follow the following rules of the road:

  • Obey all traffic signs and signals
  • Stop, and look left, right and left again before entering a roadway
  • Never run into the street; always cross at the crosswalk or corner. When crossing at an intersection, pedestrians should check for vehicles turning the corner.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks, pedestrians should walk facing traffic.
  • Make eye contact with drivers of stopped vehicles to be sure they are aware that you are crossing the street.

What types of safety features do pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods have?

  • Sidewalks
  • Physical barriers to separate pedestrians from the roadway (such as wide shoulders and strips of landscaping between the road and sidewalk)
  • "Traffic calming measures" (such as median barriers or speed humps)
  • Crossing guards and speed enforcement in school zones

What can my teen wear to be safer as a pedestrian?

  • Children should wear bright colored clothing or retro-reflective material designed to make pedestrians more visible.
  • Bright or retro-reflective material is especially important if children are walking at dusk or at night.

Where can I find more information about pedestrian safety?