Put away your phone, sir!

Distracted driving is a serious issue across the entire country. The rapid growth of cell phone use by drivers has skyrocketed, and, as we’ve covered in previous blog posts, accident numbers have soared.

Cell phones are a major culprit, causing up to 70,000 crashes per year on U.S. roads alone:

In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of cell phone-related crashes has increased 50 percent since 2010, which is commonly correlated to the over 40,000 U.S. car accident fatalities that occurred in 2016.

The scariest part? These numbers underestimate the involvement of cell phones in U.S. crashes.

It’s not just distracted drivers… it’s distracted pedestrians

While initial memories of walking through a screen door while texting, or tripping into a fountain, may seem humorous, this is no joke. Every year, more people are injured in the U.S. from distracted-walking accidents.

Cities and states are paying attention

It’s become such a hot topic that one town, in New Jersey, has banned walking and texting altogether.  If you’re caught walking and texting in Fort Lee, NJ, you’re looking at an $85 fine. That’s more than most parking tickets.

In other countries, they’ve already started padding things like lamp posts and street lights on the sidewalk. And in New York City, some speed limits have been lowered in order to give distracted pedestrians more time to lift their eyeballs from the latest meme, in order to dodge the oncoming Mack truck, who has a green light!

New York state, as well as Arkansas and Illinois, have all tried, unsuccessfully, to outlaw using a mobile device while walking.

Studies show

Studies have shown that people who text and walk are 60 percent more likely to veer off course than people who don’t text and walk. Some scientists are calling the phenomenon “inattentive blindness,” meaning the brain has evolved to only be able to adequately focus attention on one task at a time. Basically, when you’re texting, you’re not able to pay attention to anything else.

Have you ever been watching TV with your phone close by, gotten bored of the show and started to scroll social media, or read the news on your phone? You look up a minute later, and you completely missed what happened in the show. Even though the volume was still on the TV, you have no idea what was said, or, in most cases, which character was talking.

Major cities are taking notice

Honolulu recently became the first major city to ban texting and walking in the street. Could Los Angeles be next? The Hawaiian capital’s walking and texting law goes into effect on October 25. The fines will be:

  • $15-$35 for a first-time offender
  • $35-$75 for a second-time offender (within first year)
  • $75-$99 for a third-time offender (within first year)

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 47 states have outlawed driving and texting, while just 15 states have banned driving and talking on a handheld phone.

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If you or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to serious compensation. Call the award-winning personal injury attorneys of Wilshire Law Firm today at 1-800-522-7274. It may be the best call you ever make!

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