Road Distractions: It’s Not Just the Drivers Who Are Distracted

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How many times do we see someone crossing the street—whether in a crosswalk or not—and using a cell phone at the same time? We see people talking or texting and paying no attention at all to the oncoming traffic or traffic that is stopped. We see it in grocery stores, shopping malls, and downtown. People are distracted by the very devices that keep them connected to the world. Unfortunately, the connection with the world could result in an injury or death, leaving them permanently disconnected to those who love them.

Pedestrian injuries come in all forms, from those running out into the street, to children inappropriately chasing a ball in traffic, to people who don’t use a crosswalk and to those multitasking while walking. When a pedestrian accident occurs, many parts of the investigation involve intense analysis: was the person walking in a crosswalk? Was the person performing multiple things at one time, like talking or texting with a cell phone? Was the person in an area where pedestrians are prohibited? Was the driver of the car who hit a pedestrian impaired or drunk, or otherwise distracted himself?

We owe a certain responsibility to ourselves to pay attention to our surroundings when we are moving. Whether that moving be walking, biking or driving. But we all know it’s hard to keep up with everything that comes our way, and we want to be connected: we want to show people we care and that we’re available. Some states have started to impose fines for those who are distracted while talking on their phones. Distractions while on cell phones can cause people to walk into the street, people to walk into water fountains, people to be found face-to-face with wild animals, and people to run into signs, fall into manholes, and more. What should you do to keep yourself safe while walking?

  • Pay attention to where you are going. Put the phone away when walking along a street or across the street.
  • Stop walking and move into an area where you can make or take a call or text.
  • Keep the volume low so you can hear surrounding noises of other vehicles.

Knowing some items to keep you safe will make it easy for you when you are walking; but others may not be paying attention the way you are. If you have been in an accident as a result of someone not paying attention to where they were going while on the sidewalk or in the street, you may have a case for a personal injury lawsuit. Discussing the options with your attorney in New York will be your first step.