Link Between Distracted Pedestrians and Accidents

October 2, 2019

People who walk down the street with their eyes glued to their phone pose a danger to themselves and drivers in the vicinity. Though plenty of amusing videos show people falling into fountains or walking into objects, distracted walking is no laughing matter. In fact, accidents involving pedestrians who are not paying attention are on the rise. Research shows nearly half of cell phone users who walk close to crosswalks are at risk of getting hit.

The Problem with Distracted Walking

People may feel that they can still be aware of their surroundings while using devices, but science says otherwise. As studies have shown, individuals who either look at their cellphones or wear their headphones while walking cannot fully pay attention to what is happening around them. Not only do they lose track of where they are, but they may not hear or see oncoming traffic. This leaves them vulnerable and creates a problem for drivers.

The problem may especially affect teens and young adults who are more accustomed to texting, gaming, and doing other activities on their phones. As natives to the digital world, young people can easily disconnect from reality, even while walking on a busy roadway. College students can put themselves in danger if they walk distractedly around a campus filled with motor vehicles.

Distracted Walking Legislation

Currently, most legislators have not put laws in place to fine distracted walkers. However, Hawaii currently imposes a fine of at least $15 for first-time distracted walkers. Fortunately, some government workers are contemplating how to penalize people who put themselves and drivers in danger. If laws were in place to tamp down on distracted walking, drivers might not be found at-fault if they hit pedestrians who were on their cell phones in crosswalks. However, until laws are on the books, drivers should take precautionary measures.

Ways to Avoid Hitting Distracted Walkers

From a motorist’s perspective, a distracted walker can be a huge hazard. Therefore, drivers must make sure they remain vigilant when approaching crosswalks, sidewalks, and the side of the road. Pedestrians distracted by their smartphones and other devices do not make logical decisions often. Therefore, motorists must do their best to avoid hitting them. This is true not just in the city but also in rural communities, where distracted individuals may walk or run along the side of the road. Ironically, pedestrians who are doing the right thing can end up being hurt if a car swerves out of the path of a distracted person and into the path of an innocent walker.

Delaware County Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Fight for Victims Injured in All Types of Accidents

If you were injured in an accident involving a distracted pedestrian, contact a Delaware County pedestrian accident lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. Located in West Chester and Media, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County. Call us today at 610-565-3701 or contact us online for a free consultation.