We oftentimes talk about the risks of distracted driving, but there’s a new problem on the block — distracted walking. Pedestrians need to keep their eyes on their surroundings, especially on motor vehicle traffic, to help to steer clear of hazards and away from dangerous drivers.
According to Yahoo News, the number of pedestrians who landed in the hospital because of a distracted walking accident has more than quadrupled in the last seven years. There has also been a spike in the number of pedestrians injured and killed in recent years.
“We are where we were with cellphone use in cars 10 years or so ago. We knew it was a problem, but we didn’t have the data,” said Jonathan Akins with the Governors Highway Safety Association.
Our Lantana pedestrian accident lawyers understand that Florida is one of the most dangerous states in the country for pedestrian accidents. It’s important that on-foot travelers throughout the state keep an eye on the traffic around them. Alert walking habits may be one of your best defenses against a potentially fatal accident. We can’t rely on the safe habits of drivers the drivers around you.
Many state and local officials are looking for ways to help to reduce these risks now. Many are even asking state government to take the lead. Officials in Delaware even launched a “Look up. Drivers aren’t always looking out for you.” campaign to help to get pedestrians to pay more attention. And officials with the Utah Transit Authority also adopted an ordinance to ban this behavior, giving those who disobey a $50 fine.
There are also a lot of areas that have tried to pass laws to ban distracted walking. Nearly all of these attempts failed.
Researchers are studying the problem. Officials in Maryland looked at nearly 120 pedestrian accidents in which these walkers were wearing headphones. In about 70 percent of these accidents, the victims were men who were under the age of 30.
In 2011, there were nearly 1,200 people who were sent to the ER because they were injured in a pedestrian accident while walking and using an electronic device. Officials believe that this number is actually much higher because, in many cases, distraction is not admitted by the pedestrian.
Pedestrians are asked to keep their head up and their eyes on their surroundings. You run the risk of falling off a curb, walking into traffic that hasn’t stopped for you, or even tripping on road hazards.
Contact the South Florida injury lawyers at Freeman & Mallard to schedule a free and confidential review of your case. Call 1-800-561-7777.
Distracted pedestrians stumble into danger, by Joan Lowy, Yahoo News
More Blog Entries:
Even an Alligator Knows How to Walk Safely in Broward County, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, July 16, 2012
Thirteen Killed in South Florida Car Accidents in 24-Hours, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, April 3, 2012