Blog + News

10/01

Distracted Walking? Injuries to Pedestrians Using Cell Phones Skyrockets

Posted by: Jack Bernstein

Distracted-WalkingWe have been hearing and seeing a lot of stories in the news in recent months relating to the dangers of distracted driving.  It seems that every week a new study is released that attempts to quantify these dangers in an attempt to bring about awareness so that people will begin to focus more on the roads and perhaps make them safer overall.  Clearly, not paying attention to traffic is dangerous and most likely negligent if someone who is not paying attention causes an accident, but as it turns out motorists are not the only ones who may need to reexamine their habits when they’re on the move.

According to the results of a recent study, the number of pedestrians who have been badly injured in accidents while they were talking on their cell phones has shot upward in recent years.  This could be especially important information in a city like Las Vegas where a number of people are doing just that as they move around on The Strip or downtown at any given time.  It should also not come as much of a surprise considering the prevalence of cell phones in our society.

The study was done by researchers at the Ohio State University, and a link to the full text of the work can be found here.  Specifically, the researchers looked at data concerning emergency room visits by people who were injured while walking and talking on their cell phones.  The data, drawn from across the United States, is as follows:

  • 2005 – 256
  • 2006 – 396
  • 2007 – 597
  • 2008 – 1,055
  • 2009 – 1,113
  • 2010 – 1,506

While these raw numbers are far from enormous, the trend is what is troubling, as more than five times the number of people who were injured in this manner in 2005 suffered the same type of harm in 2010.  These numbers also come at a time when pedestrian injuries overall have come way down.  97,000 people in the United States were treated in emergency rooms after being injured as pedestrians in 2004, and that number dropped to approximately 41,000 in 2010.  Therefore, the roads in general appear to be getting safer for walkers, but distracted walkers are encountering increasing danger.

We were taught from the time we were children that we needed to look both ways before crossing the street.  While this may seem utterly elementary at this point to many people, apparently it’s a lesson that needs to be reinforced.  While pedestrians are clearly at an extreme disadvantage when it comes to collisions with vehicles, people on foot can and do cause injuries to motorists and perhaps to other pedestrians when crashes occur because drivers attempt evasive maneuvers that still lead to negative results.

If you are one of the many people who tends to walk and talk, you may want to reexamine that habit and perhaps change the way you do things.  If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash that was not your fault, contact the Las Vegas accident lawyers at Bernstein & Poisson today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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