Study finds rise in distracted drivers, pedestrians near schools

KOREATOWN, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Schools are supposed to be safe places for kids, but a new study found that school zones are becoming increasingly dangerous.

The study from Safe Kids Worldwide looked at the actions of almost 100,000 students and drivers in school zones and found sharp increases in distracted walking and unsafe street crossing, resulting in more pedestrian injuries and deaths in those areas.

More than five teens were killed every week walking to and from school last year, according to the study.

"When parents drop off the kids are left on their own to navigate the streets," said Dr. Jeffrey Upperman with Children's Hospital Los Angeles, which worked with Safe Kids Worldwide on the study. "They get out of the car and they immediately go heads down and they are distracted."

The study found 27 percent of high school students were distracted by screens and 40 percent failed to look before crossing. One in 10 drivers are distracted by mobile devices when arriving or departing from schools.

Some schools are making efforts to remind students and drivers to pay closer attention in school zones.

The key message: "Heads up, phones down."
Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.