Residents in and around the Louisville area have likely heard about the dangerous driving behavior known as distracted driving. Annually, drivers who are busy texting on cellphones, tuning the radio and talking to passengers are responsible for causing traffic accidents in which thousands of drivers and passengers are injured and killed. It turns out that it's not only drivers who are plagued by these types of distractions, as a growing number of pedestrian accidents are being attributed to pedestrians who walk down sidewalks and into streets with their eyes cast down.
Today, more than 90 percent of U.S. adults own a cellphone. While, in decades past, cellphone use was largely reserved for emergency calls; today people readily talk, text, email, search the internet, play games and listen to music on their phones. What's more, a sizable percentage of cellphone owners routinely use and engage with their devices even when doing so puts them and others in physical danger.
According to national statistics, between 2000 and 2011, more than 11,000 pedestrians were injured in so-called distracted walking accidents involving cellphones. Most recently, the mobile app phenomenon known as Pokémon Go has been blamed for distracting both drivers and pedestrians to the point of sheer oblivion. From crashing into other vehicles and hitting pedestrians to walking out into traffic or off of bridges, thousands of Pokémon Go enthusiasts have caused and been involved in accidents and suffered injuries while attempting to catch the elusive virtual critters.
Today, both drivers and pedestrians are more distracted than ever. For pedestrians, the consequences of walking while distracted can be particularly devastating. Being hit by a car or tripping and falling off of a curb may result in a traumatic brain injury, broken bones, and painful internal injuries. To avoid becoming another distracted walking statistic, pedestrians are encouraged to follow these safety tips:
- Focus your eyes and attention on the people, traffic, objects and obstacles around you while walking.
- Don't dart out into traffic, ever, period.
- Cross the street at designated crosswalks and never without a walk signal.
- Avoid listening to headphones while walking or running. If you must wear headphones, keep the volume low enough so you can still hear the sounds of your natural surroundings.
If you are involved and injured in an accident in which a distracted driver or pedestrian is at fault, it's wise to discuss your case with an attorney. You may be able to recover compensation for costly medical bills, lost wages and painful and disabling injuries.