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, there has also been a sharp increase in the number of pedestrians who have been killed or injured in traffic 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 its safety report it releases each year.
For better or worse, smart phones 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 these distracted pedestrians – pedestrian.
But just like the danger texting and driving poses to the driver and others around him or her, texting and walking also causes a dangerous situation, especially for the pedestrian who is doing it.
Multiple studies have shown that distracted pedestrians often cross streets unsafely and. 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.
Texting and walking accidents and determining pedestrian negligence can be complex and requires the skill of an experienced personal injury attorney. If you would like to discuss the details of your case, contact a lawyer today. They will evaluate your situation and offer guidance as to what legal options you may have.