FedEx Supports Safe Kids Worldwide with Successful Five-Year Study on Teens Distracted Walking with Electronic Devices

The latest Shenzhen research results offer a comparative review of relevant data in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou


SHENZHEN, October 15, 2020 — FedEx has supported Safe Kids Worldwide (China), an international non-profit organization, in the production of a special research report titled Teens Distracted Walking with Electronic Devices (Shenzhen). In addition to the Shenzhen results, the report offers a retrospective analysis of teens walking while distracted with electronic devices in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai.

The report seeks to better understand teenagers’ perceptions of safe walking behavior, their current habits and the leading reasons for using electronic devices while walking. The results will raise awareness about this issue among families, schools and communities and help promote safe walking behavior among teens. The study was conducted with the support of the Health Bureau and the Education Bureau of Nanshan District of Shenzhen.

“FedEx places utmost importance on being a responsible corporate citizen,” said Eddy Chan, senior vice president and head of FedEx China. “We have collaborated with Safe Kids Worldwide in China for nearly 16 years. Our work together has helped engage children and teenagers in safe walking habits and educated the public about pedestrian safety based on the latest social developments. This five-year research project is part of our efforts with Safe Kids. With the research data obtained in these four cities, we can better understand teenagers’ walking behaviors and issues. These insights will enable us to help teens develop safe and correct walking behaviors.”

In the latest Shenzhen research, more than 500 junior and senior high school students aged 12-18 were surveyed. The results showed that:

  • 87% of students have electronic devices and mobile phones as their main portable device, which is higher than in Shanghai and Guangzhou;
  • Every school day, 65% of students walk to and from school;
  • 41% of students walking to school need to cross one to two streets which is higher than in Shanghai and Guangzhou;
  • While walking, 39% of the surveyed students always or often text or use social media;
  • In terms of mobile phone usage, 44% of Shenzhen students use headphones to listen to music, significantly higher than the average of 37% across the four surveyed cities;
  • Among their peers, 37% of the students reported that they knew someone who had been involved in a road accident and hit by a motor vehicle or non-motor vehicle while using an electronic device. This percentage is higher than in the other three cities surveyed. In addition, 20% of students reported that they had the experience of being hit by a motor vehicle or a non-motor vehicle while walking.

“Injuries caused by road accidents are one of the leading causes of child injuries in China, and road casualties are the biggest killer of kids aged 15 to 17,” said Monica Cui, chief representative of Safe Kids Worldwide (China). “At the same time, teens use electronic devices more and more frequently in their daily commute. That’s why we hope this report will remind the public, as well as teens, to walk safely with their heads up. We also hope that the government authorities, education authorities, traffic management authorities and the media will rally together and promote road safety for teens.”

FedEx has supported research on teens walking while distracted with electronic devices since 2015. The project has engaged nearly 18,000 junior and senior high school students in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The research analyzes the consequences of using electronic devices while walking and shares feedback gathered through questionnaires, interviews and on-site observations during school hours.

During the five-year research, FedEx and Safe Kids Worldwide also conducted preventive activities and educational interventions in various cities on safe walking under the theme “Heads Up, Phones Down.” The initiative includes a series of courseware that has been downloaded in more than 2,000 schools in more than 40 cities across the country through the Safe Kids Worldwide online platform, benefiting nearly one million students. More than 600 FedEx volunteers conducted more than 80 in-school educational sessions using the courseware.

FedEx and Safe Kids Worldwide also produced two “Heads Up, Phones Down” promotional videos, as well as posters to raise public awareness. FedEx has also supported Safe Kids Worldwide to create a safer walking environment for students around some school campuses in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Based on the five-year research, FedEx and Safe Kids Worldwide (China) will continue to focus on these main areas to promote safe walking habits.

  1. Education and raising awareness: Create in-school education on the risks of walking with electronic devices and develop activities on related topics as part of the regular curriculum. Peer education activities will be conducted based on teen trends and preferences, and parents will be involved in the educational activities.

  1. Promotion of public awareness and regulations: While strengthening targeted education, all levels of the community should work together to raise public awareness on safely using electronic devices while walking. Pedestrians need to be reminded to put down their mobile phones when crossing the street through publicly posted signs. In addition, laws and regulations are needed to strengthen awareness about the prohibition of using electronic devices when traveling, driving and crossing the street on foot.

Through the joint efforts of all sectors of the community, FedEx and Safe Kids Worldwide aim to help children, teens and young adults establish positive pedestrian habits and reduce road injuries.

For more details about the Teens Distracted Walking with Electronic Devices (Shenzhen) special report, please click here.

About the Teens Distracted Walking with Electronic Devices Research

From 2015 to 2019, FedEx supported Safe Kids Worldwide to conduct surveys in 28 schools in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, involving 17,956 secondary school students aged 12 to 18.

From the research to the in-school education and community outreach, the project has provided data-based education and publicity to address the emerging teen pedestrian safety problem.

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