Why it is Important to Avoid Distracted Walking


As technology introduces new devices and features to keep us hooked, more of us are landing in emergency rooms for accidents caused by distracted pedestrians. It is a given that driving while texting is a high-risk activity, accounting for over 330,000 accidents, many of them resulting in severe injuries or death. Over 50% of teens admit to texting while driving, and approximately 3,000 teens die each year in car crashes where at least one of the drivers was texting. When it comes to walking while driving, however, statistics don't look much better.

Ten percent of all pedestrian injuries are caused by distracted walking. Researchers from Ohio State University found that young adults between 21 to 25 are the most likely to be injured by the activity, and it is estimated that 60% of pedestrians are distracted by a device at any given time. There are several big, walkable cities throughout the US that are generally safe for pedestrians, if they are paying attention to where they are going. Even in a city like New York, over 16,000 pedestrians and cyclists were injured in 2013. Not all of these were due to distracted walking, necessarily, but because it can be dangerous to simply walk or bike down the street, increasing that risk by not watching where you are going can result in a more serious accident.

Tips for Walking Safely

A New Jersey pedestrian accident lawyer can tell you that distracted walking is a serious problem facing large cities, and it is a growing problem. Walkers who are constantly on their smart phones texting, placing calls or even fumbling with a music device rely on everyone around them to keep them safe. Most of the time, if you are traveling in a group, you can be relatively safe; however, it is not others' responsibility to protect you from oncoming traffic or from crossing the street at the wrong time. Statistics show that those who are distracted while walking, particularly texting while walking, fail to look both ways before crossing a street, and mostly look in only one direction before taking the step.

Whenever you are in traffic, whether behind the wheel or as a pedestrian, it is imperative to stay alert. Be aware of your surroundings at all times; at the people and cars around you, especially after dark. Always look both ways and try to make eye contact with drivers. There is always the chance that you will find yourself in an accident, as 26% of Americans report they have been involved in a distracted walking accident. When you need representation, contact The Law Offices of James Vasquez, PC at 862-247-8711.