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Pedestrian Safety: the Dangers of Distracted Walking

pedestrian saftey

It is a well-known fact that distracted driving can be extremely dangerous for drivers, passengers and anyone else on the road. For example, driving while texting or using a cell phone is illegal in many states due to the dangers involved. Drivers using a cell phone exhibited a delay in their response to events happening while on the road and were more likely to be involved in a traffic accident. With respect to safety, the data suggests that the impairments associated with cell phone drivers may be as great as those commonly observed with intoxicated drivers.

Pedestrian Safety is Affected by Distracted Walking

However, you may not be as aware that distracted walking can also be extremely dangerous to those on the road. These distractions, attributable to the diversion of attention from the processing of information necessary for safety, can end in accidents and even fatalities. And because at some point everyone is a pedestrian, it’s extremely important to stay safe and attentive while walking.

In late December of 2015, a 33-year-old Indiana man fell to his death off a cliff in California.  Witnesses stated that the man was looking at his cell phone when he fell.  It’s common to see pedestrians being distracted while walking close to or crossing busy streets, often looking down at cell phones or changing music and more.

Unfortunately, the number of pedestrian deaths continues to increase. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was a more than 3% increase in the number of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in 2018, totaling 6,283 deaths — the most deaths since 1990.

Pedestrian Safety Tips

Follow these tips to stay safe while walking:

  1. Keeping aware of your surroundings is always of the utmost importance in order to stay safe.  Put down the phone and pay attention!
  2. Always follow traffic rules and obey signs.
  3. If there’s no sidewalk, always walk facing traffic and as far from roads as possible.
  4. Always cross at crosswalks and intersections, if available. Wait for drivers to see you and then cross when safe.
  5. Don’t assume that drivers see you. Before crossing a street or intersection, try to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they understand you are about to step into the road.
  6. Be visible at all times, wearing bright colors during the day and reflective clothing at night.
  7. Avoid drugs and alcohol before walking, as they impair your judgment and can inhibit your decision-making abilities.

At LaBovick Law Group, we believe taking the necessary precautions will absolutely increase safety for drivers and pedestrians alike. We are Warriors for Justice, and we will always fight for our clients who have encountered distracted drivers or unsafe pedestrian conditions. In fact, our managing partner, Brian LaBovick volunteers to speak to local school kids on the dangers of distracted driving with the Dori Slosberg Foundation. If you need an attorney who will fight for your safety, contact the attorneys at LaBovick Law Group. To find out if you have a case, fill out our free case evaluation form to speak with a pedestrian accident attorney.

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