Talking or texting on a cellphone is not just a danger to drivers anymore. In fact, pedestrians using their cellphones are also at risk for becoming distracted and suffering injuries. A new study conducted by a professor at Ohio State University shows that more than 1,500 people were treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2010 for injuries suffered from cellphone distracted walking incidents.
While even hands-free smartphones can be a cause of distracted driving resulting in severe injuries, distracted walking appears to be no different.
The Ohio State University study concluded that the number of distracted walkers is steadily climbing, with the number of cell phone-related pedestrian injuries increasing by about 1,000 people between 2007 and 2010.
To further back these findings, another study conducted at the University of Washington shows that pedestrians using any type of mobile device are more likely to take part in dangerous behavior, such as not looking both ways before crossing the street, than compared to pedestrians not using cellphones.
While most pedestrians do not think they can be held liable for any dangerous behaviors on their part, this is simply not true. In fact, distracted walkers can be held legally responsible for any injuries or damages that occur as a result of their dangerous behavior. How so? Well, just like in car vs. pedestrian accidents, both parties involved in an accident will try to establish blame for negligence in the other party. Pedestrians that are too distracted to follow traffic laws can be held responsible for their negligent actions.
If a pedestrian becomes injured by a car while talking or texting on a cellphone, a jury may find the person completely or partially at fault for the accident, resulting in a reduction of financial compensation from the driver of the car.
While technology may tempt us to try and do multiple things at once, in order to keep everyone on the road safe from harm, sometimes it is best to put our cellphones down. There are many things that pedestrians can do to prevent distracted walking, such as:
• Only use your cellphone when you are standing still and safely out of the way from any high traffic areas
• Refrain from answering your phone, making a call or texting when crossing the street
• If you are using your cellphone to play music and are wearing headphones, turn the volume down so that you can hear emergency sirens and warnings from approaching vehicles
Distractions of any kind are to blame for many Brooksville accidents and injuries. If you or someone you know has been harmed in an accident that involved some type of distraction and you think that you may be entitled to compensation, contact a Brooksville Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton about your case. Contact us online or call us today at 352-666-2121.