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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
Attorney • (877) 377-7848

Distracted Pedestrians Continue Walking into Danger

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It has been proven that talking on the phone or texting is a major distraction to drivers, leading to serious and fatal accidents, but distracted pedestrians continue to put themselves in harms way.  The problem isn’t as widely discussed as distracted driving, but the dangers are just as real.

The trend of pedestrians who text or talk is at an all-time high; studies show they are four times less likely to look before entering the street, follow pedestrian traffic control devices, or cross streets at designated cross walks.  Studies also indicate that pedestrian “texters” spend an average two seconds longer crossing an intersection, increasing the risk of being hit by a car.

Are we underscoring this growing problem?  Reports of injuries to distracted walkers treated at hospital emergency rooms have more than quadrupled in the past seven years and are almost certainly underreported.  Our streets are not the only place we find distracted pedestrians.  Everyday, people are texting while walking across campus, grocery shopping, walking the mall, and waiting to catch a flight; kids break out the cell phone as soon as they step out of the classroom.  And, texting isn’t the only activity pedestrians are taking part. Many engage in phone conversations, listen to music, or become distracted by friends, kids, and pets.  Pedestrians have fallen flat on their face, run into brick walls or poles, fell in holes, flipped over objects, and walked in front of cars.

The age group most at risk for cell-phone related injuries while walking is adults under 30, mainly those between the ages of 16 and 25.  We all see the problem yet, many of us are contributors.  Pedestrians need to apply the same safety measures as drivers and the best place to start with ourselves.  For parents, it is important to start early talking to kids about the dangers of distraction, both while walking and driving.

I challenge each and every one of my readers to put down the phone while driving – and walking.  If you don’t and are seriously injured in an auto-pedestrian accident, drivers and their insurance company will most certainly challenge a claim and look for evidence of pedestrian distraction.

Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company