“Distracted Walking”: Your Phone Can Be Your Undoing Even If You’re Not Behind the Wheel
Walk around Dallas for any length of time and you have no doubt seen it: people walking down the sidewalk or crossing the street while staring straight down at their phones instead of looking straight ahead. The technology that has led to so many tragic “distracted driving” accidents is also leading to an alarming rise in injuries from “distracted walking.”
The National Safety Council reports that the use of cell phones by pedestrians caused an estimated 11,101 injuries between 2000 and 2011. However, a 2013 Ohio State University study puts that figure astronomically higher, estimating that potentially 2 million pedestrians were likely injured due to cell phone use in 2010 alone.
According to the Ohio State study, those ages 21-25 suffered the most injuries due to cell phone use while walking, followed closely and unsurprisingly by those between 16 and 20 years of age who have grown up with their cell phones so tightly in their grip.
Texting or looking at your phone can lead to injuries from tripping over uneven pavement, falling off of a curb, or running into objects or other people. More dangerously, people crossing streets without paying attention to their surroundings put themselves at increased risk of being hit by a car, truck, or other vehicle.
In fact, it has been reported that almost 40 percent of U.S. teenagers have been hit or nearly hit by a passing car, motorcycle, or bike — and those hit or nearly hit tend to report higher rates of cell phone use and distraction than others.
Though texting while driving has been prohibited in most states (but not Texas) and cities (including Austin and San Antonio), there hasn’t been the same push to impose limitations on pedestrian cell phone use. The focus has been on raising awareness and trying to convince people to change their habits, such as simply stopping and standing to the side if there is something urgent on your phone that requires your attention.
We love our phones, and with good reason. But the convenience and connectivity they provide doesn’t need to come with unnecessary dangers and avoidable injuries.
At Greening Law, P.C. in Dallas, we care about the well-being of each client we have the privilege to represent and are committed to obtaining compensation and justice for personal injuries caused by the negligence of others. If you or a loved one has been injured, please give us a call at (972) 934-8900 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free consultation to discuss your case.