Despite improvements in vehicle safety and distracted driving awareness efforts, last year 6,000 pedestrians were fatally injured. Even more alarming is the fact that this number has not decreased at all over the last two years. In fact, pedestrian fatalities are the highest they have been in the last two decades.
As researchers attempt to identify the factors responsible for this phenomenon, they cannot deny the link to an increased number of potential distractions that both drivers and walkers may be dealing with.
Distracted Pedestrian Studies
We learn at a very young age to look right and left before crossing the street, and for most of us, getting from one side of the road to the other seems to be a simple task. However, crossing a street safely actually requires several complex cognitive and visual processes. For example:
- Speed assessment
- Proper judgment of vehicle distance
- Time needed to cross road safely
In a 2009 study published in the journal titled Pediatrics, researchers observed 77 children as they talked on their cell phone while crossing a road. Although most parents feel certain that our kids know to look both ways before crossing a street, those that were on the phone did so 20 percent less. These children increased their risk of being hit by a car by 43 percent.
Fast forward to 2017 and people of all ages seem to have their eyes glued to their phones to check email, text, read the news, and more. A recent study published by Transportation Research evaluated both talking and texting while crossing the street. The results indicated that pedestrians of all ages who used their phones while crossing a road walked slower and took smaller steps, prolonging their time in the crosswalk.
Distracted Pedestrian Laws
Prolonging time in a crosswalk naturally increases exposure to accidents and the act of texting or reading on a cell phone requires cognitive effort and limits visual sensory input. Not only will this limit a person’s ability to judge when it is safe to cross the road, but these limitations can impair balance, thus leading to falls, collisions with objects, and other serious accidents.
Philadelphia Accident Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Advocate for Injured Pedestrians
Although it is important for pedestrians to remain vigilant on the roadways, we cannot control what others do. If you or a loved one suffer injuries from an accident in a crosswalk, on public or private property, or while at work, contact a Philadelphia accident lawyer at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Call us today at 888-999-1962 or contact us online for a free consultation. We provide experienced legal counsel to clients in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina.