February 23, 2018

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Dangers of Distracted Walking

The dangers of distracted driving have been widely publicized. We all know how dangerous it can be to drive while using a smartphone or talking to someone in the backseat. However, there is increasing concern on the dangers of distracted walking.

According to figures from the emergency services, ten percent of pedestrian accidents are a result of distracted walking. Pedestrians are already at risk when walking near traffic. The risk of being injured increases further when they are distracted.

Walking while texting or chatting on your smartphone can be dangerous even when you have a green light to cross the street. Teens and young adults are especially prone to distracted walking. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 40% of teens involved in pedestrian accidents were engaged in distracted walking.

Common Risks of Distracted Walking

  • Lack of awareness

If you’re texting, browsing or playing a game on your smartphone while walking, your attention is on your device. Distracted walkers are likely to walk off the pavement and onto the street or even miss the changing of traffic lights and walk onto a busy street assuming they have the right of way.

  • Serious injuries to pedestrians

Pedestrians can suffer serious injuries as a result of distracted walking. They can be injured as a result of being knocked down by a passing vehicle, as well as a simple trip, slip or fall.

  • Serious injuries to others

Distracted walking can also result in serious injuries to others. Drivers may swerve to avoid hitting the distracted pedestrian and cause a serious accident that results in injuries to other parties. These accidents can result in broken or fractured bones as well as brain injuries and even death.

Your Legal Right

The distracted pedestrian is not always injured in an accident. However, he or she may have been the catalyst that caused the accident. For example, a driver may swerve to avoid a distracted pedestrian who walks onto the road. The pedestrian may escape injury while the driver or other pedestrians may be injured. In such cases, the injured parties may be able to seek compensation from the pedestrian.

In some cases however, liability may not be so obvious. The driver and the distracted pedestrian may share liability. This is common in cases where both the pedestrian and the driver were found to be distracted. Both the driver and pedestrian will be held partially liable. Some states allow the injured parties who are partially liable to recover compensation for their losses and injuries based on their relative percentage of fault. However, given the complexity of both the facts and the law in these cases, it is advisable to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you.

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