Distracted Walking: The New Injury-Causing Trend That’s Gaining Attention
There is no question that distracted driving is a serious issue and one that is ever-growing in this society that is so obsessed with technology. Due to the seriousness of this problem, many government entities and organizations are working to curtail the trend, but without much success. Yet, the individuals who are unable to keep their phone put away while behind the wheel are not the only ones that are threatening the safety of themselves, as well as other people on the road. In more and more situations, cases of distracted walking by pedestrians is occurring, and wreaking havoc across the nation.
The Growing Problem of Distracted Walking
The issue of distracted walking has become such a large issue that there has been an annual report created by the National Safety Council that includes injuries related to this issue. The actual name of the category is “cell phone distracted walking.” It was originally added to the list in 2015 as a main cause of accidental death or injury.
The data that has been collected is worrisome, to say the least. The number of reported accidents has almost doubled in a period of just five years. For 2017, the annual pedestrian fatalities rate has jumped by 11 percent according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. Distractions are number three on the list of leading causes of pedestrian fatalities, following speeding and failure to yield.
The Problem of No Accountability in Distracted Walking Cases
What is even more disturbing is the increasing mentality of “it’s not me, it’s you.” During a distracted walking study done by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, they polled 500 different people in big metropolitan areas and discovered that 78 percent of all adults in the U.S. believe that cases of distracted driving are a serious problem, but only 29 percent think they have a problem with it.
Solutions for Distracted Walking are Limited
While there are countless solutions in place for distracted driving, there are very few methods of preventing this issue in cases of distracted walking. While Germany has embedded traffic signals in the crosswalk pavement for those who are always looking down, this is not something the U.S. has even considered. Hawaii was the first U.S. state to make it illegal to look at or text with an electronic device while crossing the street, which is a step in the right direction, but not a complete solution.
If you are injured by someone, or cause an injury to someone, who is texting and walking or distracted as a pedestrian, they may be liable for the injury, not you. The best course of action is to contact our team of personal injury attorneys at Hilton & Somer, LLC by calling 703-782-8349.