Distracted driving is something all drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians need to be concerned about because as more and more people depend on their phones for everyday activities like communicating with loved ones, working, errands, and travel, more and more accidents are happening due to the distraction caused by cell phones.
We all know that feeling of frustration and anger we get as we look at the car next to us on a busy highway and see someone looking down at their phone while operating a several-ton vehicle. According to statistics, most people are guilty of using their cell phone while driving or walking on roadways in the United States. Pedestrian accidents due to distracted driving are a serious problem and a leading cause of pedestrian deaths in the United States, but many of these accidents could have been prevented.
Distracted Pedestrians and Distracted Drivers: A Deadly Mix
Pedestrians are especially vulnerable to distracted drivers because they have nothing to protect them from the massive size and weight of the auto coming at them, and this problem is compounded by the fact that pedestrians, too, are often distracted by their phones as they walk on crowded city streets.
Maybe you have seen a pedestrian standing in a crosswalk checking their phone or worse, walking through the crosswalk while looking down at that phone. Just because the crosswalk says it’s safe to cross does not mean you should have your head buried in your phone. To reduce the high number of pedestrian fatalities each year in the United States, drivers and pedestrians must put their phones down until they get to their destinations.
According to an article in USA Today online, pedestrian deaths totaled nearly 6,000 in 2017 for the second straight year “amid mounting signs that walkers and drivers are dangerously distracted.” Even with all of the safety technologies found on cars today, pedestrians are being killed. Drivers now have lane change assist, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring systems, and emergency braking systems, yet pedestrians are still being killed at record numbers, and the number of pedestrians killed this year is set to top that of almost 6,000 in 2017.
Distracted Driving Laws
More and more states are changing their distracted driving laws, and some, like Ohio, have changed their texting while driving law to a general distracted driving law. This means that if a driver is pulled over for speeding and the police officer saw that driver on a cell phone, the police offer can issue a separate citation for “distracted driving,” and the officer need not prove you were texting as in the past. While many states have laws citing distracted driving as a secondary offense, this offense is very hard to prove in a court of law because unlike texting, many activities one can perform on a phone while driving are not time stamped.
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident due to distracted driving, or if you were the driver and a distracted pedestrian contributed to an accident in which you were injured, you may have a valid legal personal injury claim. Please contact a pedestrian accident attorney in your area today to schedule a no cost, no-obligation consultation.