There has been much written and studied regarding texting and driving. There is no debate when it comes to discussing how deadly the behavior can be. States all across the country have enacted laws prohibiting drivers from texting while they are behind the wheel. However, not only has the country experienced a consistent increase in the number of fatalities and serious injuries caused by texting drivers but there has also been a sharp increase in the number of pedestrians who have been killed or injured in pedestrian accidents that safety advocates say are a result of pedestrian negligence, caused by people who are out texting and walking.
These advocates say texting and walking is as dangerous a problem as texting and driving is, causing fatalities and serious injuries across the country. In fact, texting and walking has become such a dangerous issue that the National Safety Council (NSC) now adds it to the safety report it releases each year.
For better or worse, smartphones have become an intracule part of many people’s lives. Drive down any busy street and you will likely see many people walking, looking down at their cell phones, and wearing earbuds. There is even a word for this phenomenon – distracted walking.
But just like the danger texting and driving poses to the driver and others around him or her, texting and walking also cause a dangerous situation, especially for the pedestrian who is doing it.
Multiple studies have shown that distracted pedestrians often cross streets unsafely. In one study, pedestrians engaged in cell phone use were 60 percent more at risk to go off their course (such as failing to stay in a crosswalk). This not only poses a danger to the pedestrian but also to others around them. For example, a distracted pedestrian walks into another person, knocking them down and causing injury.
Although there is much discussion regarding the duty of care drivers have to pedestrians, those pedestrians also have a duty of care to other pedestrians and motorists. If a person who is texting and walking becomes so distracted they illegally walk in front of a moving vehicle, a court could determine that the pedestrian was at fault for the accident.
At the very least, the court could determine that the pedestrian was partly to blame and therefore, whatever damages are to be awarded for any sustained injuries, will be reduced under a comparative negligence rule.
Have You Been Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to pursue compensation that will address your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
The North Carolina pedestrian accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have been advocating for victims and their families for more than 35 years, using all available resources to successfully obtain the best possible outcome under the circumstances of the case. Our attorneys have built solid reputations as skilled negotiators who will not hesitate to pursue litigation if the insurance company fails to negotiate in good faith. Call our office today for a free case evaluation and to find out how our legal team can help get you the financial compensation you deserve.