LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Wednesday was national Walk to School Day and at the same time, a new 'Safe Kids' Report finds one in five high school students are distracted when crossing the street and they're almost always distracted by a cell phone.
She may be new to the job, but, already crossing guard, Denise Henderson knows the importance of her job.
"A lot of drivers don't pay attention," said Henderson. "A lot of people are texting on their phones."
That makes for a dangerous combination for Safe Kids Fayette County program coordinator, Sherri Hannan.
"Children will be injured or killed," said Hannan, who also says there are some other basics kids need to know while walking to school.
"When kids are walking, their heads need to be up and watching for traffic," she said.
Those lessons, she says, are sometimes kicked to the curb when kids grow older and that's where the real danger is.
Accidents among the 16-19 age group have increased 25% in the last five years, according to the report, which also finds one in five high school students are distracted when crossing the street.
"Music, they're text messaging, they are talking on the phone. So, they aren't paying attention. They're not doing what they're taught initially."
Safety rules to follow also include knowing road signs and being able to listen the traffic, i.e. no headphones.
It's also important that children under 10 years old are supervised when they walk.