There is a very real issue with the growing problem of distracted drivers. The main change over the last decade has been the rise in cell phone and smart phone use among drivers to the point where the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reporting that distracted driving causes more accidents than any other factor.
The problem is understandable, if deplorable, and many states are attempting to make distracted driving less dangerous by making it illegal to use a cell phone or smart phone while driving and increase driver education. New York is one of the most forward of U.S. states in terms of distracted driver cell phone use, but it is actually quite hard for police to really curb the problem.
But how about distracted pedestrians? We’ve all noticed the increasing number of our fellow citizens across the U.S. constantly fiddling with one device or another. It happens in relatively safe places like cafes, restaurants, stores and shopping malls, buses and trains and on ferries across New York’s waterways, but it is also increasingly common among pedestrians. Readers of this blog are probably just as much to blame as everyone else. But is this really dangerous? Do distracted pedestrians actually cause serious injuries, and if so, who is being injured?
According to a survey completed recently in New York, the number of pedestrians turning up in the city’s emergency rooms actually doubled between 2004 and 2010. These people had not been injured by vehicle drivers, but by other pedestrians or by their own behavior because of cellphone use while walking along the city’s sidewalks!
Of 1,000 people who had been admitted to a hospital after texting on a device while walking in a 2013 study, there were a significant number of serious injuries, including damage to the head, spine and pelvis from inadvertent collisions.
The 2013 Accident, Analysis and Prevention study showed that while the majority of pedestrians involved in distracted walking accidents were relatively young, between 18 and 34, the most serious and long-lasting injuries were to an older age group, and women appeared to fare worse than men.
The National Safety Council has linked the upsurge in pedestrian accidents that have been caused by distracted pedestrians to the huge increase in cell and smartphone use over the last 15 years, even though a half of self inflicted injuries caused by distracted behavior still occur at home and not out on the streets.
Accidents caused by distracted pedestrians can be as serious as being hit by a vehicle. Pedestrians can be knocked off a flight of stairs, a bridge or more commonly into a crowded street off a sidewalk into the flow of traffic.
Whatever the cause of the accident, if you, or a member of your family have been seriously injured as a result of someone’s negligence, then you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit that requires the negligent party to pay you compensation, which will help with any medical bills, lost income and may also act as a warning to others who routinely walk, cycle, ride or drive while using a mobile device.
If you are seriously injured by a distracted pedestrian or a road user, then contact an experienced personal injury lawyer like Richard S. Jaffe Esq. of Cohen & Jaffe LLC to see if there is any chance of being fairly compensated for the accident.
You can contact him at the Law Offices of Cohen & Jaffe LLP, 2001 Marcus Avenue, Suite W295, Lake Success, NY 11042. Phone: 516-358-6900 or toll free: 800-483-6149.