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Look Where You’re Going: “Distracted Walking” Is Becoming a Big Problem

Posted on - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 under Pedestrian Accidents Look Where You’re Going: “Distracted Walking” Is Becoming a Big Problem

You’ve seen people do it; you’ve probably done it yourself. Walking down the street with your eyes staring straight down at the phone in your hand and not on the world in front of you. But the world in front of you can include dangers that could lead to serious injuries or worse because you are texting, e-mailing, or otherwise engrossed in your phone.

The phenomenon of “distracted walking” may not receive as much attention as the serious problem of “distracted driving” rightly does, but that is starting to change as the injuries pile up.

As the National Safety Council reports, cell phones use by pedestrians caused approximately 11,100 injuries between 2000 and 2011. A 2013 Ohio State University study actually puts that figure much higher, estimating that potentially 2 million pedestrians were likely injured due to “distracted walking” and cell phone use in 2010 alone.

In our own state, the Georgia Department of Transportation conducted a study and found that almost half of the pedestrians at the 20 busy intersections they surveyed were distracted, most of them by electronic devices, including 15 percent who were texting, 13 percent who were talking on the phone, and 6 percent who had more than two electronic distractions at the same time.

Texting or looking at your phone can lead to injuries in a number of ways, including tripping on uneven pavement, walking off of a curb, or running into other people or objects. More dangerously, people crossing streets without paying attention to traffic put themselves at increased risk of being hit by a vehicle.

In fact, it has been reported that about 40 percent of U.S. teenagers have been hit or nearly hit by a passing car, motorcycle, or bike — and those hit or nearly hit tend to report higher rates of cell phone use than others.

We love our phones and the connectivity and convenience they give us. But no text message is worth the risk of a serious injury, and no e-mail is worth the cost of thousands of dollars in medical bills.

While some pedestrian accidents are avoidable, others are the result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a careless driver or cyclist, you may have a claim for compensation. Call the experienced metro Atlanta personal injury lawyers at The Parian Law Firm today at (770) 727-5550 or chat live online with a member of our staff today.