Distracted Walking: A Driver’s Nightmare
Is distracted walking really an issue? We hear a lot about the dangers of distracted driving. National campaigns reinforce the notions that drivers should keep their eyes on the road and avoid talking on their phone or texting while driving since it only takes a moment for them to be distracted, and possibly involved in a collision with another vehicle, the environment, or a pedestrian. But what if they aren’t the one being distracted?
Distracted Walking Is a Growing Problem
The assumption that drivers are the only ones who become distracted by technology may lead to dangerous situations on the road. In fact, the problem of distracted walking has become a big issue, and drivers now additionally must worry about people crossing the street or walking along the road who are not paying full attention to the traffic. Many of these pedestrians are distracted by more than just talking on the phone or texting.
An increasing number of patients are being treated in emergency rooms each year in the U.S. for injuries due to accidents that occur while talking on a cellphone, texting, reading or watching a program on a tablet while walking https://www.fcc.gov/general/distracted-driving. It can happen in buildings, near stairs or around construction areas, but it can also happen on the road and in parking lots, making this problem a hazard for drivers, as well.
Drivers Need Protection
There are very few laws in place which address the responsibility of pedestrians to avoid distracting behaviors. This means that drivers may be unfairly assessed a large responsibility to notice these pedestrians who might not be able to see them first. Remember that many of these walkers are also wearing headphones or earbuds, so they commonly will not hear a car coming. Of course, even a driver who is mindful of their environment might still encounter an unfortunate accident involving a distracted walker. If such a difficult issue happens to you while driving, consulting an attorney regarding your rights and responsibilities is critical. We at Tison Law Group will help sort out what comes next. Don’t hesitate to call us or go online to schedule your free consultation.