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Distracted Walking and Pedestrian Accidents

While the term “distracted driving” has become widely used in social media, news articles, and other forms of entertainment, the phrase “distracted walking” is also becoming more popular. These distractions can make it difficult for pedestrians to pay attention to their surroundings and the risks of sharing a space with motor vehicles are quite limited.

Pedestrian accidents have increased as a result of the prevalence of commuters who opt to pass the time or multitask while walking. Serious injuries and fatalities can result from people crossing the street at dangerous times, strolling into oncoming traffic, or tripping and falling into the road. For instance, if a walker trips over a curb while texting or reading an email, the result could be catastrophic injury if the victim falls into the path of oncoming traffic.

Risks of Distracted Walking

You would imagine that because walking is one of the most natural activities a person can engage in, it is inherently safer than bicycling, driving, and other forms of transportation. However, for your body to react and prevent crashes, you need environmental cues like the sound of approaching vehicles and the presence of curbs or other people. You become disconnected from your surroundings when you text, talk on the phone, or use headphones, which weakens or even eliminates these indications.

Still, crossing roadways while walking is the risk of inattentive driving that concerns people the most. Before crossing the street, pedestrians must be careful to look both ways, and they must always be aware of oncoming cars. Since the widespread usage of smartphones, there has been an increase in pedestrian fatalities, which has led experts to assume that distracted walking is partially to blame. Pedestrians made about 14% of all road deaths in 2010. Cell phone use while walking has resulted in a recent increase in emergency room visits due to personal injury.

Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Distracted pedestrians may be injured in an accident caused by the following:

  • Failing to recognize a busy intersection
  • Failing to gauge speed and distance while crossing mid-block
  • Failing to notice vehicles entering or exiting a parking lot or structure
  • Tripping over debris
  • Tripping and stumbling into the path of oncoming traffic
  • Misjudging the height of a curb or step

Penalties for Distracted Walking

For walking while distracted, a person may be subject to civil penalties or possible criminal prosecution. The violation of Nevada law 484B.287 is jaywalking. You must cross in the crosswalk if there is a traffic control device on the road. The average fine for jaywalking is $100, but it can cost you more.

You could be charged with reckless endangerment if your method of walking is substantially endangering other people. Any action that displays a deliberate or wanton disregard for the safety of other people or property is forbidden by Nevada statute 202.595. For law authorities to even consider filing this kind of complaint for someone’s gait, a considerable injury often must occur.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians

It’s not always possible to devote your entire attention to the road at all times, but to keep yourself and others safe, follow the following safety tips for pedestrians:

  • Put your phone away when crossing any streets
  • Keep your head up when crossing intersections
  • If you are wearing headphones, remove them from one ear or lower the volume enough to hear your surroundings
  • Always follow road laws and street signs
  • Avoid using handheld devices in parking lots

How Can a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer help?

Crossen Law Firm offers a free initial consultation and will not collect any attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Rely on our Indianapolis pedestrian lawyer for the effective and aggressive legal advocacy you require.

To learn more about pedestrian accidents, contact our knowledgeable legal team at (317) 401-8626.