Distracted driving may have been a top concern of safety advocates nationwide, but there's a new problem on the block that's catching their attention. It's distracted pedestrians. Pedestrians are playing on their cell phones and listening to their iPods, making it awfully difficult to dodge the dangerous drivers that surround them.
According to USA TODAY, the number of distracted pedestrians who have been treated in an emergency room because of a traffic accident has nearly quadrupled in the last seven years. And these are only the accident reports where distractions were cited. Officials believe this stat is actually much, much higher.
Our Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyers understand that there seems to be a need to stay connected at all times. You hardly every see someone without a cell phone in their hand or one dangling on their hip. With the new technologies, consumers are being drawn in with ease. Unfortunately, these devices are taking our attention when we need it the most -- when traveling. Pedestrians are asked to keep the distractions at bay and their eyes on passing traffic to help to avoid a potentially accident. We can't rely on the driving habits of others to keep us safe. We've got to be one step ahead of them and one of the best ways to do that is to be alert of what's going on around us.
"With the smartphone technology these days and everything at your fingertips, it's almost getting to be an obsession or a compulsion with people," said Jim Fox with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.
The University of Maryland recently conducted a study into distracted walkers to see just how serious the problem was. Over the last six years, researchers looked at more than 115 serious and fatal pedestrian accidents in which the pedestrians were wearing headphones at the time of the accident. About two-thirds of the victims were men and they were under the age of 30. About half of these accidents involved trains. To make it worse, they were trains that were activating their horn prior to the collision.
In 2011, there were nearly 1,200 people who ended up in an emergency room because of an injury they sustained while they were using an electronic device and walking. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, this is just an estimate because, again, you can't be sure that all of these accidents were reported correctly. There's no sure way to determine if a distraction was involved by the time emergency response teams arrive.
It's important for pedestrians to keep an eye on their surroundings. You need to be aware of the passing traffic as they may be distracted as well and may not even see you. You've also got to be on the lookout for other roadway hazards, like curbs, light poles, other pedestrians and road debris. Put the distractions away and keep your eyes up to help to ensure safe travels!
If you have been injured in a traffic accident, contact Huntington Beach personal injury attorney Vincent Howard to set up a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call (800) 872-5925.
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