Forty percent of teens surveyed have been struck or nearly struck by a car while walking

Washington – A recent survey of more than 1,000 teens found that almost half have been distracted by a mobile device when walking across a street.

Safe Kids Worldwide surveyed 1,040 teens 13 to 18 years old about their pedestrian behaviors. Forty percent of the teens reported they have been struck or nearly struck by a car, bike or motorcycle, according to the report, released Sept. 30.

Among teens who said they had been struck or almost struck while crossing a street:

  • 47 percent were listening to music
  • 40 percent ran across the street
  • 37 percent crossed from the middle of the block
  • 20 percent were talking on the phone
  • 18 percent were texting
  • 8 percent were looking at websites on their phone

Additionally, 24 percent of teens said the person behind the wheel was driving too fast, 13 percent admitted to not looking around adequately and 10 percent said the driver wasn't paying attention.

Safe Kids offers these guidelines:

  • Do not use phones or headphones when crossing a street.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing.
  • Stay alert when it is dark.
  • Cross at a traffic signal or crosswalk.

Highway Safety Summit

CDC Daily Digest Bulletin Child Passenger Safety- Buckle up every age, every trip 2/05/2014

Child passenger restraint laws result in more children being buckled up. A recent study by Eichelberger et al, showed that among five states that increased the required car seat or booster seat age to 7 or 8 years, car seat and booster seat use tripled, and deaths and serious injuries decreased by 17 percent.

Learn more about the importance of child passenger safety and steps that can be taken to keep children safe on the road.

Visit CDC Vital Signs:

 Highway Safety Summit, January 14th, 2014 

Agenda from the January 14th, 2014 Summit on Highway Safety

Presentations from the Highway Safety Summit may be downloaded by clicking on the links below.

Distracted Driving PresentationBill Bell, Executive Director, Kentucky Office of Highway Safety

Coltharp Family Youtube Presentation - On September 1, 2007 at 7pm, Hillary Coltharp was driving on I-24 when she became distracted by her cell phone. The next few seconds changed her life forever! This is the story about how a young, vibrant single mom almost lost everything, including her life. She survived a horrific crash and now devotes her life to see that others don't make the same mistake she did and text & drive! 

Coltharp Family PowerPoint "Don't be "In-TEXT-icated", Hillary Coltharp and Family

Booster Seat Legislation Proposal - 2014Bill Bell, Executive Director, Kentucky Office of Highway Safety

Booster Seat Presentation PowerPoint, Dr. John M. Draus, Kentucky Children's Hospital

Booster Seat Presentation PowerPoint, Dr. Mary Fallat "The majority of children in the target booster seat age group in Kentucky who are hurt badly enough to require trauma team evaluation or hospital admission are not properly restrained in vehicles, and improper restraints also contribute to injuries in this patient group."

Highway Safety Summit Addresses Texting and Driving, Booster Seat Education

by Mallory Powell, University of Kentucky College of Public Health

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 16, 2014) -- Transportation stakeholders representing the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Highway Safety (KTCOHS), companies, physicians, insurance providers, law enforcement, the Kentucky Safety and Prevention Alignment Network (KSPAN), the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky (BIAK), and a victim, among others, attended the Kentucky Highway Safety Summit held Jan. 14 that focused on texting and driving and booster seat education. The Summit was organized by the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Kentucky, the KTCOHS, BIAK and KSPAN.

Dr. Stephanie Mayfield Gibson, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, opened the Summit with some staggering statistics. According to Kentucky State Police crash data, “more than 61,000 collisions where driver distraction was cited as a contributing factor to the crash, resulting in 14,500 injuries and 174 fatalities. School and work zone restrictions on distractors such as mobile devices have the potential ability to save a high number of motoring public lives, highway construction worker lives, hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and doctor visits. From 2012-2013, there were 1,386 collisions in work zones with 10 fatalities. In school land use areas, there were 4,682 collisions between 2012 and 2013 with 507 injuries and 2 fatalities."

A texting and driving victim, Hillary Coltharp, her mother Shawn Coltharp, and one of her good friends talked about the severe traumatic brain injury she suffered after a motor vehicle crash more than six years ago when she was texting while driving. Hillary has no memory of the crash or of events that occurred before the crash, such as the birth of her son, or her marriage. Since the crash, Hillary has endured multiple surgeries and requires ongoing rehabilitation for the rest of her life.

AT&T presented information on their texting and driving ban campaign. “At AT&T, we believe that texting while driving is foolhardy at best, and lethal at worst,” said AT&T Kentucky Regional Director Hank Mangeot. “Gov. Beshear and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet have been strong supporters of our campaign against texting behind the wheel and we appreciate their partnership as we’ve tried to spread the word that when it comes to texting and driving, it can wait.”

Representative Terry Mills, Ky. house district 24, spoke about House Bill 33 that he and Rep. Joni Jenkins (House district 44) are co-sponsoring related to texting while driving and the banning of hand-held devices in school zones and highway work zones.

“I appreciate this effort to make our highways safer," Mills said. "As public servants it is the work we should be doing. House Bill 33 is an important part of this effort and I will do all I can to get it passed.”

Presentations by pediatric trauma surgeons Dr. John Draus, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Mary Fallat, of Louisville’s Kosair Children’s Hospital, graphically illustrated trauma center-treated cases associated with incorrect restraint use in vehicles such as the wearing of adult seat belts in children 8 years and younger or non-use of booster seat that resulted in common injuries such as broken pelvises and perforated intestines.

Bill Bell, director the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, said that legislation will be introduced related to bringing Kentucky’s current booster seat law up to par with bordering states that follow National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) recommendations for height and age. NHTSA recommends a belt-positioning booster seat for children 4-8 years old that weigh at least 40 pounds, and who are under 57 inches tall. Kentucky’s current law requires booster seat use for children under 7 years of age and up 50 inches tall.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Highway Safety

Motor vehicle crash-related injuries and fatalities are declining in Kentucky and nationally, despite modest increases in vehicle miles traveled. In 2011, Kentucky reported a total of 150,278 motor vehicle crashes, of which 127,524 were on public roadways.  These crashes resulted in 721 fatalities, including 11 fatalities that occurred on private property, and 36,345 crashes that resulted in non-fatal injuries.  The Nation Safety Council estimated the 2010 direct economic costs for traffic crashes in Kentucky at 2 billion dollars, while the comprehensive costs were estimated at 5.6 billion dollars.

Kentucky’s roadway crash fatalities have declined each year since 2005, when 985 people died due to motor vehicle crashes in the Commonwealth.  The fatality rate per hundred million miles driven has declined from 1.46 in 2005 to 1.18 in 2011.  The national rate fell to 1.10 per 100 million miles in 2010.

 • More fatal crashes (34%) occur on state roadways than on other types of roadways.  Many of these roadways are two lane roadways traversing rural areas.

 • Fatal crashes were equally distributed between collisions with other vehicles and collisions with fixed objects (38% each).

 • Non-Kentucky drivers were involved in 10 percent of all crashes and 11.6 percent of fatal crashes.

 • Sixty six percent of those who died in traffic crashes in 2011 were male.

 • The largest number of crashes involved drivers aged 25-34.

 • In 2011, teen drivers represented 6.6 percent of the licensed drivers in Kentucky but were involved in 16 percent of the motor vehicle crashes.  Drivers aged 20-24 were also over-represented in crashes.

 • Alcohol-related collisions, like all other collisions, have declined slowly but steadily since 2005.  There was a 28 percent reduction in alcohol-related fatalities in 2011, compared to 2005.

 • Driver inattention (distracted driving) was cited as the primary human contributing factor in 39 percent of crashes.  The next most common factor accounted for only 14 percent of crashes.

 • The most common environmental contributing factors are slippery surface and animal action.

 • Motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle and truck crashes continue to increase.

 • Approximately 66% of the people killed in motor vehicle crashes in Kentucky in 2011 were unrestrained by safety belts.  This figure has not changed since 2004.

 Use of a safety belt has the greatest potential impact on prevention of fatalities. Some 55% of fatalities could be prevented through use of a safety belt. Alcohol involvement is more common for drivers 25 through 34 years of age, while drivers between the 16 and 34 years of age are overrepresented in crashes due to excessive speed.