Rise in Accidents Involving Distracted WalkersPublished: Sep 25, 2019 in Auto Accident, Pedestrian Accidents, Personal Injury
Distracted driving is the leading cause of fatal car accidents in the United States, but according to recent studies conducted by Ohio State University and the University of Maryland Medical Center, pedestrian injuries and deaths related to distracted walking are on the rise. Emergency room visits involving distracted walkers have doubled every year over the past decade.
Pedextrians: The New Pedestrians
Pedextrians is a new term used to describe pedestrians that engage in texting and smartphone usage while walking. While there are laws in every state across the nation that make it illegal to engage in distracted driving behaviors, no such laws apply to distracted walking. As serious injuries and fatalities related to pedestrian distraction continue to rise, safety advocates and lawmakers are scrambling to initiate guidelines to protect pedestrians.
Common Injuries Related to Distracted Walking
Recent studies on the effects of distracted walking have led to surprising results. Scientists have concluded that those who engage in texting, talking on the phone, and wearing headphones while walking are 60 times more likely to stumble, trip, slip, fall, or run into another person or object than someone who focuses strictly on walking. Injuries range from minor to serious and include:
- Fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Types of Distracted Walking
While texting is the most common type of distracted walking, there are others, such as:
- Talking on a cell phone
- Checking email
- Responding to an email
- Consulting navigation programs
- Checking the time
- Responding to a cell phone alert
- Reaching for a cell phone or other object in a purse or backpack
- Eating or drinking while walking
- Engaging in conversation with a walking partner
The human brain is designed to concentrate on one task at a time. While many people have become multi-taskers due to tight schedules and high demands, distractions relating to multi-tasking are leading to significant safety risks.
Avoid Distraction and Enjoy the Walk
Just as the safety risks of distracted driving can be prevented, so too can the risks of distracted walking. Helpful tips include to:
- Keep your cell phone on silent and packed away in a backpack or purse
- Avoid walking and checking your phone for email or text messages
- Stop alongside the walking path to refer to navigation devices
- Keep your eyes focused on traffic signals and patterns
- Avoid using headphones that can block out warning sirens or horns
- Eat before your journey or wait until you arrive at your destination
Edwardsville Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Help Victims of Pedestrian Accidents Claim Compensation
If you or someone you know was injured in a pedestrian accident, call the Edwardsville accident lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC at 618-277-3644 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients throughout Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.