Texting Pedestrians: Alarming Increase in Traffic Accidents
Texting and driving is a dangerous mix, and it’s a common cause of numerous accidents every year. However, when walking along busy city streets and intersections, pedestrians should concentrate their efforts on the surrounding areas instead of texting while walking. A recent survey taken by a leading insurance company found that over 50 percent of the people surveyed admitted to texting, talking and emailing while walking. Over 65 percent of the same individuals also found the behaviors to be extremely dangerous, especially when in the midst of heavy traffic.
Rise in Traffic Accidents
With the increase of cell phone use over the past few years, reports from the Highway Traffic Safety Administration have shown a significant increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities related to traffic accidents. Close to 1,200 individuals required emergency room assistance for accidents that were caused by pedestrians who were found walking while using an electronic gadget. When walking through a busy intersection, studies showed, pedestrians were distracted by their cell phones while crossing, and it took them over 1.2 seconds longer to get across the street.
Houston Pedestrian Accident Risks
Houston has the third highest rate of pedestrian accidents in the nation, and it has accounted for over 40 percent of the area’s fatalities. While distracted driving can impair a motorist and cause numerous accidents, pedestrians are now falling victim to the many distractions of cell phone use each day. Because they are preoccupied by things such as emails, chatting on the phone, texting or watching videos, they are unable to focus on traffic, oncoming cars and other serious issues that could pose a threat. A pedestrian was killed in a hit and run accident in West Houston recently. The victim was apparently not paying attention and walked directly into the oncoming path of a pickup truck. The pedestrian perished at the scene of the accident.
Fatalities and injuries that include pedestrians crossing the street can be one of the most preventable accidents. Many times an individual is just too busy to notice oncoming traffic or other obstacles in their path. However, staying visible and practicing extreme caution is imperative in keeping safe. As a pedestrian crossing the street, you have the obligation to obey the necessary laws in that particular state. This includes crossing at the designated locations instead of navigating the middle of the street, taking your time and waiting until the road is clear to walk, and staying visible. One of the most obvious safety tips is to tuck away your electronic gadgets such as notepad, cell phone and musical headset while crossing the street.
In the case of the Houston influx of pedestrian accidents, residents have numerous resources available for individuals looking for helpful safety tips such as blogs and articles on legal websites. The Houston rail safety program, Operation Lifesaver project, is also a useful tool for safety tips. In addition, travel websites like http://www.ridemetro(dot)org provide beneficial help aids, precisely for pedestrian safety.
As technology advances, and the modes of communication expand, a personal injury attorney can be expected to see a significant increase in lawsuits related to distracted pedestrians. Many individuals feel the pedestrian has the right of way in any situation and because they step foot in the crosswalk, all traffic must stop. However, sidetracked pedestrians can be at the center of an accident between a driver and those trying to get across the street. Essentially, they must take responsibility for their negligent actions.
Jamica Bell is a freelance writer who contributes this article as a way to shed light on the rising merger of texting pedestrians and accident injuries. Legal website www.houston-accidentattorney.com is designed to be an aid and tool for pedestrians seeking safety tips as well as for individuals looking for resources and ample legal representation.
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