Have you seen YouTube videos of people walking along distracted by their phones when all of a sudden they walk into signs or fall into fountains? While it may seem like a funny scene in a movie, it is anything but funny when a pedestrian is injured while walking down the street. Unfortunately, some pedestrians are causing their own accidents and injuries as a result of using their mobile devices.

Most people have a hard time ignoring their phones because iPhones and smartphones can be engaging and addicting, which is why many people don’t think that there is anything wrong with using their mobile devices while walking down a street or even across a crosswalk. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Distracted walking, which is anything that takes a pedestrian’s mind off of safe walking, can be dangerous. This is especially the case when pedestrians are walking along looking down at their small phone screens.

“It is really dangerous,” said Deborah Hersman, who heads the National Safety Council. Unfortunately, many people ignore the dangers and keep their attention focused on their phones instead of on the road.

Dangers of Walking Distracted

When pedestrians’ eyes are fixated on cell phones, they can become zombie-like and not even aware of their surroundings. While most people have heard of the dangers of distracted driving, many people aren’t aware of the fact that distracted walking can be just as dangerous. This is because when a pedestrian’s mind is elsewhere and his or her eyes are looking down instead of at the road, the pedestrian can suffer catastrophic and even fatal injuries when hit by a car.

Shockingly, “some data suggests that at any given moment on the streets of America, 60 percent of pedestrians are distracted while walking, meaning either on the phone or doing something on their phone,” said Alan S. Hilibrand of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He has seen evidence of what he calls “digital deadwalkers” on center-city streets, as he told the Washington Post.

When people are glued to their mobile devices while walking, they might miss seeing a traffic light, a turning car, or another hazard in the road. As a result, they might get hit by a vehicle while they are crossing a street while looking down at their iPhones or iPads.

Steps Pedestrians Should Take to Stay Safe

Although many drivers who hit pedestrians are at fault, pedestrians can be to blame if they are walking with their eyes down and not focused on the traffic, pedestrian signals, and their surroundings. This is why it is critical that all pedestrians do the following things to stay safe:

  • Silence your phone while walking so you are not tempted to talk, read an email or reply to a text.
  • If you have to reply to a text or email while walking, stop somewhere safely and finish the email or text before starting to walk again.
  • Always look both ways before crossing a street. Never assume drivers see you.
  • Obey pedestrian traffic signals and road rules every time you walk down the road.

If you have done your part to walk smart and safe and you are still hit by a motor vehicle, you will have a legal right to bring a claim against that negligent driver for your injuries and losses. To learn about pursuing an injury claim following a pedestrian accident, you should talk with a trusted accident attorney about your legal rights. For a free consultation and to learn more, contact the Law Offices of David Benenfeld at 866-9 HELP NOW or 866-943-5766 today.