Although most of us are well aware of the dangers of distracted driving, distracted walking can be just as hazardous. If a pedestrian is looking at a smartphone while walking, they increase their chances of being hit by a car to no fault of the driver. This is especially true in large urban areas like Fort Lauderdale. Walking with headphones in, not heeding traffic signs, and playing games on mobile devices also effectively divert attention.
While cars must still give pedestrians the right of way, sometimes an accident is unavoidable. It’s important for pedestrians to pay attention while they cross the street to avoid sustaining severe injuries.
The Facts About Distracted Walking
Many pedestrians don’t realize the vitality of obeying traffic laws and paying attention to one’s surroundings while walking in a busy area. For those who believe distracted walking isn’t a big deal, consider these numbers:
- Since 2004, pedestrian injuries related to smartphone use while walking have more than doubled
- 60 percent of pedestrians engage in distracted walking, but only 29 percent report that they do so
- 40 percent of Americans say that they’ve witnessed an incident caused by distracted walking
- 90 percent of absent-minded walking cases involve talking on the phone, talking to another person, listening to music or podcasts, and using smartphone apps or texting
- Almost three-quarters of those surveyed don’t think distracted walking is a serious issue
Despite the last statistic, distracted walking is far from fun and games – in fact, it could be a matter of life or death. Last year in Florida, 643 pedestrians were killed and nearly 9,000 more seriously injured due to this dangerous practice.
The Dangers of Distraction
Smartphone use is by far the most severe form of distracted walking because the individual’s visual, manual, and cognitive attention are all focused on the phone. Not only are your eyes not on the road, but your mind is far from the traffic you’re attempting to navigate.
The issue of visual and cognitive distraction is so severe that in some countries, some crosswalks have traffic lights installed, so they are more visible to pedestrians whose attention is on their phones.
Cognitive distractions can be deadly for pedestrians. Pedestrians need to be able to dedicate 100 percent of their attention to the sidewalks, crosswalks, and roads they are traversing. Having one’s mind on a conversation, message, photo, or video instead of on staying safe on the street could mean a misstep that proves fatal.
While distracted walking is to blame for numerous collisions, vehicle drivers are responsible for a large number of pedestrian accidents, and the injuries that result can be life-altering. The Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at Salpeter Gitkin, LLP are seasoned attorneys who dedicate themselves to ensuring that injured accident victims recover the compensation they’re rightfully entitled to. Allow us to put are legal knowledge to work for you. Contact us today at 954-467-8622 for a free case evaluation.