Not many of us talk about distracted walking – a pedestrian who is engaged in texting or talking on a cell phone.
We are well aware of the dangers of distracted driving. Distracted driving includes any activity that causes a driver’s attention to focus on something other than driving, such as talking on a cell phone, texting, or changing radio stations. Statistics show that distracted driving may be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, though the penalties are less strict. Not many of us talk about distracted walking, which refers to a walker who is engaged in texting, talking on the phone, eating, or any other distraction.
Distracted Walking Statistics
A study conducted by Ohio State University has concluded that the risk of injury associated with distracted walking outpaced that of distracted driving. The researchers studied cell phone use-related ER visits from 2004 to 2010 that included injuries to drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians in which an electronic device was used. It was found that almost 70 percent of the injuries were sustained by people who were engaged in a cell phone conversation and that injuries from distracted walking increased by over 100 percent during this period.
A study conducted by University of Washington found that nearly 50 percent of pedestrians crossing an intersection did so while distracted. The largest percentage were found engaged in some type of technology such as texting, wearing headphones, or talking on a cell phone.
Pedestrians Not Paying Attention
The problem with distracted walking is that pedestrians who are distracted tend to cross intersections or streets more slowly and sometimes without looking both ways or against the light. When talking on a cell phone, the pedestrian may not be able to hear an approaching motor vehicle. Distracted walkers are at risk of being stuck by cars or other motor vehicles and also of walking into objects or falling off elevations such as bridges.
Although it is not illegal to speak on the phone while walking, it is dangerous. If a person is a distracted when struck by a vehicle, he or she may not be able to hold the driver liable for the injuries. Educating pedestrians about the dangers of distracted walking may help reduce severe injuries and accidents. Avoid using a cell phone or wearing headphones when crossing an intersection. Look both ways before crossing an intersection, even if the traffic light is in your favor.
Chicago Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
It is interesting to note that pedestrians under the age of 31 years old suffer the most injuries from distracted walking. The cell phone generation is more likely to be distracted and to suffer injuries. Signs at intersections warning pedestrians to pay attention while walking on busy sidewalks or crossing the street may be helpful. If you have suffered injury because of another person’s negligence, contact a Chicago pedestrian accident lawyer from Willens Law Offices. Call (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.