NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- The results of a new study by Safe Kids underscores why more young people should be aware of the dangers of texting while crossing an intersection.
Teens with phones in hand will invariably lead to texting. Then add texting while crossing the street, and you've got a potentially dangerous situation.
Just ask 13-year-old Melody Calo.
"Do you text as you cross the street," asked News 8's Jocelyn Maminta.
"Yes I do," said Melody.
"Do you pay attention?"
"No I don't."
"And why not?"
"Because I'm focused on my texting," Melody said.
"Have you ever been close to getting hit by a car," asked Maminta.
"Yes I have."
Unfortunately, there are more young people just like her.
Researchers of a Safe Kids study observed 34,000 students in 17 states. They found 39 percent of distracted teens are texting while crossing. One in five are high school students, one in eight are middle schoolers.
"Most kids when they're texting think they are only distracted by only one second, the reality is it's 3-4-5 seconds and when you're a pedestrian that could be a huge difference," said Karen Brock-Gallo, Safe Kids Connecticut.
Injuries among older teens have steadily increased.
"They could have internal injuries, suffer traumatic head injuries or even potentially die from these injuries," said Brock-Gallo.
That has drivers like Wanda Vazquez concerned
"I speak to my daughter all the time," said Vazquez. "If I see them crossing the street, I'm definitely slowing down because that could be my child."
So it didn't sit too well with Vazquez when she heard more of her child's interview.
"What is it going to take for you to pay attention as you cross the street," asked Maminta.
"I really don't know, maybe really getting hurt," Melody said.
"I didn't know she was crossing the street texting, you see we have to talk more, that's dangerous, not only for you and our family, but also for that person who hits you that's involved," Vazquez said.
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