Cities are becoming more populated each year, which means more traffic. Unfortunately, this also means walking through a city is becoming increasingly dangerous. In 2016 alone, 5,987 pedestrians lost their lives in vehicle-related accidents. But why are so many people suffering injuries or death while on city streets? It turns out there’s a growing problem called distracted walking.
Distracted walking behavior is placing pedestrians at risk of serious injury, and not only from vehicles. People also have to watch out for bikers, street vendors, stairwells, and other pedestrians.
What Exactly is Distracted Walking?
The term “distracted driving” is now commonplace, and while a driver can become distracted by a number of things, the term is frequently associated with cell phone use behind the wheel. This same concept applies to pedestrians.
Distracted walking happens when a person is texting or otherwise engaging with their cell phone while walking down a public street. The problem here is that many people feel because they’re on foot, they’re not in danger of sustaining injuries. The truth is, when you walk down a city street while interacting with your phone, you’re putting yourself and others around you in danger.
Pedestrian Injuries Resulting from Distraction
When you’re looking and operating your cell phone while walking, there’s no way you can remain focused on your surrounding environment. In addition, texting or reading can change the way you move. A study performed by the University of British Columbia found that pedestrians who were distracted by texting while they walked had more unstable movements and disruptions than people simply talking on their phone. This can lead to a number of possible accidents, including:
- Running into objects such as lamp posts or signs
- Tripping over curbs, steps, or other objects on the sidewalk
- Colliding with bikers or other pedestrians
- Falling as a result of potholes or damaged walkways
- Walking into traffic and being struck by a vehicle
These accidents can lead to minor injuries such as sprains or abrasions. However, you also run the risk of sustaining a concussion, broken bones, or internal injuries.
How to Avoid Injury
The last thing you want to do is sustain a serious injury simply because you were texting and walking at the same time. The best way to avoid this is to put your cell phone away altogether. If you need to send a text message or make a call, find a bench or coffee shop where you can do it safely. If you like to listen to music while you walk, make sure you keep the volume at a reasonable level so you can still hear the street noise around you.
It’s also important to observe all pedestrian laws. Avoid jaywalking and only cross intersections when the walk signal is on. Look twice when crossing a street or entering the roadway for any reason. Just because you have the right of way doesn’t mean a driver will have enough time to avoid hitting you.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney for Help
If you were struck by a vehicle and feel driver negligence was involved, you deserve compensation for your injuries. A West Palm Beach pedestrian accident attorney can evaluate the details of your accident and file an injury claim on your behalf. There’s a good chance you can receive compensation for costly medical bills and lost wages. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Fetterman & Associates at 561-845-2510 to discuss your options.