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Teens Distracted By Smartphones May Be Putting Themselves At Risk For Serious Injuries

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) -- We have all been told about the problems of distracted teenage drivers. Now, a new report finds that phones can also lead to accidents when teens are walking.

"To lose my child at the age that she passed away it's like, it's still hard to deal with," Gwen Ward told CBS 2's Jericka Duncan.

Ward lost her daughter two years ago. The 15-year-old was crossing the street on her way to school. She was wearing headphones and looking at her smartphone. It's believed that she never saw the car that hit her.

"The doctor came out and said 'I have bad news' and I said, 'give it to me straight' and he said 'your daughter was hit and killed,'" Ward said.

A new report from the group Safe Kids claims that every hour a teenager is hit by a car while walking down the street.

Christina was one of 284 teens killed in 2012, another 10,000 were injured.

Teens are more likely to get hit by a car than any other age group. Safety advocates say a big reason for this trend is their use of smartphones and other devices.

"We found that 1 in 5 high school kids were distracted while crossing the street in a school zone," President and CEO, Safe Kids Worldwide, explained.

Many teens surveyed admit that they use their smartphones when they cross the street.

The survey found that teens were also more likely to be hit by a car because they crossed in the middle of the street instead of at a crosswalk. Wearing dark clothes when it's dark out was also a major problem.

"They're on Facebook, they're on Twitter, they're texting each other. My daughter lost her life because of being distracted while walking to school," Ward said.

Ward hopes that her daughter's story will convince other kids to put down their devices when walking.

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