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Distracted Pedestrians Risk Their Lives by Looking at Their Phones

Distracted Pedestrians Risk Their LivesA recent study confirms that distracted pedestrians risk their lives by spending too much time looking at their cell phones instead of paying attention to traffic and crossing signals.

Researchers at Lehman College and William Paterson University collaborated in a study that indicates almost half of pedestrians disregarded flashing crossing signals and crossed the street at five of Manhattan’s busiest intersections- all while using their cell phones.

After analyzing data for the intersections with the greatest number of accidents, researchers determined that pedestrians were distracted by different devices, with cell phones being the most dangerous. Even though 28% of pedestrians crossed with the signal, they did so while looking at their phones.

Several pedestrians were asked their views on the dangers of cell phone use while trying to navigate busy city streets on foot. Their answers were varied- some realize the danger and try to avoid texting and walking, others don’t see an issue.

New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, has been targeting speeders and distracted drivers with his Vision Zero program. Authors of this study hope that the problem of distracted pedestrians will also be addressed at the city level.

Pedestrian Cell Phone Injuries

In the United States, the number of pedestrians injured while using their cell phones has steadily increased since 2006. In fact, pedestrian texting accidents account for more injuries per mile than distracted driving.

In 2012, 8,700 distracted walking accidents were reported where a pedestrian was engrossed in their smart phone or listening to music rather than paying attention. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that texting distractions were a possible contributing factor in the 4,280 pedestrian fatalities recorded for 2010, a four percent increase over the previous year. As substantial as the problem seems, some experts believe information about pedestrian texting behaviors are underreported because people are embarrassed.

Distracted pedestrians risk their lives because the activity causes all three types of distractions:

  • Manual- the physical act of performing a task other than walking
  • Visual- looking at something else other than immediate surroundings
  • Cognitive- thinking about something else besides walking safely

Likely injuries to pedestrians using cell phones could include:

  • Trips and falls
  • Stepping on precarious surfaces
  • Walking into street signs, lamp posts, or other objects

Pedestrians who are struck by cars could sustain far worse injuries, including fractured bones and head injuries when they strike the vehicle’s windshield.

Contact Our Denver Pedestrian Injury Lawyers

Colorado Pedestrian Attorneys Fuicelli & LeeIf you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Denver, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries. Motorists have a responsibility to look out for pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections. When a negligent driver causes your injury, we can help. Contact the law firm of Fuicelli & Lee, PC, for a free case evaluation. You pay nothing unless you receive a financial settlement or award. Call our office at 303-355-7202 or fill out our confidential contact form.


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