Pedestrian accidents have skyrocketed in the past decade. In 2010, there were more than 1,500 emergency room intakes for accidents related to using a cellphone while walking, according to a nationwide study.
The study was done by Ohio State University professor Jack Nasar and Derek Troyer, a former graduate student at Ohio State. It appeared in the August 2013 issue of the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention.
The pair indexed out ER visits related to cellphone use while walking between 2004 and 2010 from data gathered by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC updates this database of annual U.S. ER intake numbers annually.
“If current trends continue, I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of injuries to pedestrians caused by cell phones doubles again between 2010 and 2015,” said Jack Nasar, co-author of the study and professor at Ohio State University.
“So much attention has been paid, and rightly so, to distracted driving that we have ignored the fact that distracted walking and crossing can be just as risky,” said David Melton, a driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual Insurance. “From an early age, we all learn how to safely cross the street – look both ways, wait for the walk sign – but as adults, many of us seem to forget those simple rules.”
If you are injured in an accident while texting, walking and not paying attention, you may be found at fault, which would limit your ability to collect compensation for your recovery. However, if a driver of a car, train or bicycle that collided with you was also distracted, he or she may share the responsibility with you.
As spring blossoms and we enter the summer months, more pedestrians are taking advantage of being outside. It is important to teach teenagers with cellphones how dangerous texting and crossing a street can be. Ages 16-25 have been most affected by serious injury or even death.