Cell phones are known to cause distracted-driving motor vehicle accidents, often with tragic results. Did you know, however, that distracted walking is also a serious safety concern? Perhaps nowhere is distracted walking more of an issue than in school zones. Accordingly, the “Heads Up, Phones Down” movement is calling attention to school safety as part of a nationwide awareness campaign to reduce cell phone-related injuries.

School zones are busy places. Crowds of parents, students, and teachers contend with pick-up and drop-off schedules, after school activities, and bus traffic on a daily basis. Adding cell phones distractions to the mix is exceedingly dangerous. The nonprofit Safe Kids Worldwide studied the issue and produced a report called “Alarming Dangers in School Zones.” Researchers observed 80 percent of middle and high school students crossed the street in an unsafe manner mostly due to wearing headphones and texting. 

Before your children leave for school, remind them of these year-round school zone safety tips:

  • Never walk while texting or talking on the phone
  • If texting, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk
  • Never cross the street while using a phone or electronic device
  • Do not walk with headphones in your ears
  • Cross only at crosswalks

Drivers also have to pay attention. One text is all it takes to make a terrible mistake. It is not just parent-drivers who need to put their phones down. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 59 percent of vehicle crashes involving newly licensed teen drivers contained some type of distracted behavior during the six-second period leading up to a crash. 

Student attitudes toward texting and driving are also concerning. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a survey of young drivers and found 20 percent of drivers age 18-20 said texting does not impact their driving, and nearly 30 percent of drivers ages 21-34 said texting while driving has no impact whatsoever. 

If you or someone you know has been involved in a distracted driving incident, especially if a child has been injured, do not wait to contact an experienced attorney to learn more about your rights. Remember, we are your local Tallahassee law firm available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Do not wait to schedule a free case evaluation with us.