OSWEGO, NY – According to the National Highway Transportation Department, while motor vehicle injury is one of the leading killers of children more than one year of age, not all deaths and injuries occur in motor vehicles.
Children often rely on walking, or riding a bicycle or bus to or from school or other activities, and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s up to parents and caregivers, teachers and other concerned adults to make sure that these kids are taught and reminded to practice safe traffic safety behaviors.
The facts are alarming.
In 2005, nearly one-fifth (18%) of all children between the ages of 5 and 9 who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.
Children age 15 and younger accounted for 8 percent of the pedestrian fatalities in 2005 and 28 percent of all pedestrians injured in traffic crashes.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œParents and caregivers need to remember that ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“children are not small adultsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ and often need help crossing the street ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ especially if they are 10 years old or younger,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Billie Crandall Brady of the Oswego County Traffic Safety Board.
Nearly one-fifth (17%) of the bicyclists killed in traffic crashes in 2005 were between the ages of 5 and 15.
The fatality rate for this age group was about 14 percent higher than the rate for all bicyclists.
Although bicycle helmets are up to 85 percent effective in preventing head and brain injuries, almost 75 percent of bicycle crashes involve head injuries where no helmet was used.
Since 1995, 170 school-age pedestrians younger than 19 years old have died in school transportation-related crashes.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) were killed by school buses, 5 percent by vehicles functioning as school buses, and 30 percent by other vehicles involved in the crashes. Nearly one-half (49%) of all school-age pedestrians killed in school transportation-related crashes were between the ages of 5 and 7.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThere are specific safety rules that children need to understand before they can safely utilize school transportation. Parents and other caregivers must teach and reinforce these skill sets to ensure that their children enter and exit the bus environment safely,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Crandall Brady.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI urge you to spread the word about pedestrian, bicycle, and school transportation safety. Teach and reinforce safety rules so they become safety habits that last a lifetime. This will help to save lives and prevent injuries, and make our communities stronger,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Crandall Brady added.
For additional traffic safety information or education, contact Brandy Koproski at the Oswego County Traffic Safety Board, 315-343-2344, or to book a presentation, e-mail Crandall Brady, at [email protected]