We have worried for years about people texting and driving and accidents related to it. Now, there is a growing concern for pedestrians who are texting and walking. There has been a large increase in injury due to pedestrians being distracted while walking.
How dangerous is walking and texting?
Safe Kids Worldwide found that nearly 40 percent of teens said they have either been hit by a vehicle or nearly hit by a vehicle while using their cell phone. Pedestrians who are paying more attention to their cell phone not only endanger themselves but others as well. In 2010, there were almost two million pedestrian injuries caused by negligent cell phone users.
A pedestrian who fails to look before crossing can surprise an unsuspecting driver. This can cause the driver to hit them or swerve and hit another vehicle. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) found that since 2009, we have seen a 15 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities.
GHSA claims that distracted walkers are too distracted by their phones that they fail to look for traffic, check for safety and ignore traffic lights. Some cities are even generous enough to give pedestrian texters their own lane of traffic in hopes to cut down on injury.
If a driver hits a negligent walker
If you are safely driving and a pedestrian walks out in front of your car, you will usually be responsible. When applying for your driver’s license you are agreeing to what is called drivers duty of care. This means that you agree to drive with your attention focused on only the road. You will drive with caution and concern for the well being and safety of others. By failing to comply with the duty of care law, you can be considered a negligent driver.
However, pedestrians are also responsible to comply with this law. Pedestrians are required to practice reasonable care and safety for themselves and others. Pedestrians can also be considered negligent if they fail to meet these requirements.
Common practices of failed pedestrian duty of care:
- Not using crosswalks or jaywalking
- Ignoring traffic signs and signals
- Walking into oncoming traffic
Pedestrians who are too busy with their phones, often fall victim to violating some of these common practices. This can put many people in danger and increase the risk of serious injury or death.
As the operator of a multi-ton vehicle, you hold a lot of responsibility in your hands. Always beware of walking texters, especially in high traffic walking areas such as colleges, neighborhoods or downtown city areas.
If you find yourself in a situation that you believe was caused by the negligence of someone else, seek legal counsel. An experienced personal injury attorney can help gather evidence and litigate your case.