Distracted Walking | Head Up, Phone Down

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Distracted Walking

An experienced Personal Injury Lawyer can inform you of your rights if you or someone you know is injured while walking. While the slapstick nature of someone distractedly tripping into a fountain or walking into a street sign can be amusing, there is real danger where pedestrian device use is concerned. Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable in urban areas even when paying close attention to their surroundings. Studies have shown surprising evidence that adding a device makes it exceedingly difficult to multitask through a phenomenon called “inattentive blindness”. Walkers forget where they are going and struggle to maintain a consistent stride, veering off path and into avoidable hazards.

In 2017, nearly 7,000 pedestrians were hit and killed by vehicles. As communities work to become more pedestrian-friendly, their efforts are thwarted by head down walkers. Everyone with a device is at risk. One study showed that texting pedestrians were 60% more likely to stray off-line. Pedestrian injuries among older teens are on the rise, up 25 percent compared to previous years. One in five high school students crosses the street while distracted by the use of headphones and texting, primarily.

Distracted walking has become issue enough that some communities are implementing safety measures to combat it. Unsuccessfully, New York, Arkansas and Illinois have tried to ban cellphone use while walking. One town in New Jersey serves jaywalkers with an $85 fine for texting. In London, England, distracted pedestrians are protected by padded lamp posts. SafeKids.org has initiated a campaign called Moment of Silence in an effort to raise awareness. Teens and others are invited to take a pledge to put their devices down when crossing an intersection.

Take a few of these common-sense precautions when walking and keep yourself safe from distracted walking accidents:

  • Never use a device while crossing the street.
  • Always cross at intersections where motorists are on higher alert to pedestrian presence.
  • When wearing headphones, keep the volume low or leave one earbud out.
  • Take frequent breaks to look up and take inventory of your surroundings.
  • Hold your phone up higher in your visual field so you can see what might be ahead of you.
  • Check out apps designed for on-the-go texters.

If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury as a pedestrian, contact The Personal Injury Department at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.

The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP is a full-service law firm serving Bakersfield, California and all of Kern County. Our firm is recognized as a leader in the community, and we offer and extensive and wide variety of legal services including, but not limited to water law, personal injury, business law, employment and labor law, estate planning, real estate, and much more. Please reach out today to talk to a member of our team.