Pedestrian Accidents and Dangerous Walking
The dangers of digital device use while driving are now widely known. But there is also a growing problem with pedestrian accidents and distracted walking. In this post, we will inform you about this new phenomenon, which has led to the coinage of a new term, petextrian, and how that may lead to pedestrian accidents.
A petextrian is someone who walks while also simultaneously trying to use a cellphone, tablet, or other digital devices. It’s someone who, as an educator from the Minnesota Safety Council puts it, is unaware of being unaware of his or her surroundings.
Pedestrian accidents were vividly illustrated in a tragic incident in late December of last year. A 33-year-old man fell to his death over a cliff in California, apparently while trying to use his phone to take a picture of a scenic sunset. He had been looking down at the device so much that he wasn’t watching where he was going.
To be sure, most accidents and injuries caused by distracted walking aren’t fatal. But research shows that the number of emergency visits required for pedestrian accidents related to distracted walking has increased significantly in recent years.
The percentage of pedestrian deaths involving cellphone use has also increased, according to a study by Ohio State University researchers. The OSU data was included in a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association last year.
In short, with so many drivers and so many walkers distracted by devices, the risks have escalated. It’s not difficult to imagine a worst-case scenario: a petextrian crossing the street against the light – only to encounter an equally distracted driver.
As a result, the National Safety Council is now issuing warnings about distracted walking and collecting data on it. But petextrians’ vulnerability to cars is by no means the only concern. The most common injuries from pedestrian accidents specifically distracted walking, are from falls.
Millennials at greater risk in pedestrian accidents
The research data shows that younger people are the ones most at risk from distracted walking. According to the Ohio State research, people between ages 21 and 25 are the most likely to suffer injuries caused by device usage while walking. Obviously this stands to reason. Younger folks tend to be on their devices more than older folks. And millennials may be on there most of all. But people of all ages are using devices frequently now. And this includes using them while walking.
Personal injury lawyers
When a pedestrian accident caused by device distraction does happen, it can be difficult to know what to do. You might feel stuck. In that situation, it makes sense to get help from an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you move forward again.