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Distracted Walking Is a Real Hazard

distracted walking

Do Not Walk Distracted – Prevent Pedestrian Accidents

If you think distraction only applies to drivers, think again. Pedestrian deaths increased by 19% from 2009 to date. And men are more likely to die, accounting for 79% of all pedestrian deaths over the years mentioned. One death occurs every two hours, and one person is injured every seven minutes. And this is due to so many things – from using electronic devices to putting lipstick on the road.

Pokemon Go, for one, is a very popular – and dangerous – form of pedestrian distraction. How many times have you heard about a person hitting the wall while playing? There have even been reports of people tripping or falling down the stairs while attempting to catch a fictional creature.

Walking with Electronic Devices

Experienced pedestrian accident attorneys know that walking while distracted by electronic devices can lead to death. Several cases seen on the news also prove that this is a real threat. In fact, it seems like this has become a normal occurrence in our day to day lives. For instance:

  • In New York, there was a girl who fell six feet into a manhole. She did not see the hole because she was texting while walking. Although her injuries were not serious, she did end up being covered by sewage.
  • In Florida, a man died of sustained injuries. Multiple vehicles hit him while he was crossing the street. He was texting. The car drivers did not expect him to cross.
  • In North Carolina, a bus ran over a jogging student who crossed the street abruptly. The student was listening to his iPod and never heard the bus. He crossed the street without looking.
  • Another man broke a finger when he tripped while on his phone, talking to somebody.
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There are much more cases of accidents on a day-to-day basis due to distracted walking, and pedestrian accident attorneys take care of these cases. One study found that 20% of these accidents involved pedestrians who were distracted by their mobile devices. Approximately a third of these accidents occurred in busy intersections.

Walking with Other Distractions

Although electronic devices are the primary source of distraction these days, there are many other forms of distracted walking that can lead to serious injuries or even death. Let us take a look at each of them.

  • Walking while looking for something in a bag – Many people, particularly women, do this while crossing the street. They look straight into their bag and dig around for an item. Meanwhile, there is an oncoming vehicle, sewer grate, or other hazard…
  • Eating while walking – Many people are guilty of this, especially these who live in busy urban areas where multitasking is common. Eating takes your attention away from the road, especially when the food is messy and difficult to eat. It’s best to relax and eat while standing still or sitting. This way, you won’t put yourself at risk.
  • Reading – Books can wait. No matter how good the novel is or how juicy the news is, it is not worth the risk. When you read, you take your eyes almost 100% off the road. Also, the brain has to process what you read. The brain has to imagine and visualize the words you see. The problem with this is it impairs your hearing. You may inadvertently cross a busy road, or you might trip and fall.
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Accidents do happen, but most of these causes are preventable. What we can learn from these accidents is that looking is not the same as seeing. The eyes and the brain can only process so much information at any given time. You cannot force your brain to multitask and expect perfect results all the time.

Also, doing other things apart from focusing on the road takes away a key element of road safety – hearing. Hearing allows you to perceive things from behind you, like cars passing by or a revving motor. If you can hear cars or buses honking, and this lets you know that there is danger close by. If you cover your ears with ear plugs and listen to music, you shut down an important element of safety on the road.

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