A pedestrian now dies roughly once every two hours in a traffic collision, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Ohio State University analyzed hospital data that found that injuries involving walking and using a cellphone more than doubled between 2005 and 2010. Researchers at the University of Washington observed more than 1,000 pedestrians and found nearly 1/3 of them were distracted by a mobile device as they crossed high-risk intersections; texters were less likely to look both ways or obey lights.
This issue has become serious enough that the government is now dishing out money to fight it! When the Department of Transportation announced $2 million to combat pedestrian deaths, distracted walking was singled out as a problem that needs to be addressed. The money will go to places where pedestrians are more likely to become victims, in New York City, for instance.
The $2 million to fight pedestrian deaths is in addition to a $400,000 federal grant given to TriMet, the public transit service in Portland, Oregon. Next month, TriMet will start testing buses with bright headlights or audio messages like “Pedestrians, bus is turning” or big signs that simply say “BUS” in an attempt to wake pedestrians up!
Cities around the nation are launching campaigns to prevent distracted walking. For instance, a Maryland county partnered with the organization Safe Kids Worldwide for a “Moment of Silence” campaign, started after a 15-year-old girl who was crossing the street while listening to music and looking at her cellphone was killed by a passing car. Students are asked to remember her and put their devices away before stepping into the road.
We remind everyone to please be alert and aware when crossing intersections, railroads or small streets. It is important to use caution and obey traffic lights for your own safety! Help us stop distracted walking today by putting your device down before stepping off the curb.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a pedestrian-related accident due to the negligence of a driver, contact us today for a free case appraisal. We can help you receive the compensation you deserve.