October 11, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Most people living in Portland, Oregon, understand the dangers that distracted driving poses to other motorists as well as pedestrians. Many people, however, don't realize that "distracted walking" -- whether a cell phone, a music player, or a companion provides the distraction -- can also play a huge role in pedestrian accidents
. It's important for pedestrians and drivers alike to be aware of the risks of distracted walking, which is causing more injuries every year.
Identifying the worst distractions
Distracted walking is a problem that is just starting to gain attention and be the subject of research. In late 2012, a study in Seattle, Washington, observed pedestrians using various electronic devices as they crossed streets. Time magazine describes some of the study's findings as follows:
- Listening to music and texting were the most common distractions.
- Close to 30 percent of pedestrians were engaged with an electronic device while crossing the street.
- Texting slowed pedestrians down, making them cross the street an average of 1.87 seconds slower than focused pedestrians.
- Pedestrians who were texting were four times more likely to endanger themselves by ignoring traffic signals, failing to look for traffic, and wandering outside the crosswalk.
This study shows that electronics can be too distracting, even during simple tasks like walking, but the study did not track injuries. More research is needed in this area, although an Ohio State University study has produced troubling findings on injuries received by pedestrians using cell phones to talk or text.
The effects of cell phones
The study, which was published in 2013, tracked injuries sustained by people using cell phones while walking, whether in the road or on challenging terrain. As described in Medical Daily, the study found that, between 2005 and 2010, annual distracted walking injuries doubled to 1,500. People under age 25 incurred most of the injuries.
The OSU study does not reveal the number of distracted walkers who were injured in an accident with a motor vehicle. However, the study indicates that the distraction created by cellphones and other electronics is a growing safety concern, and not just for people who are behind the wheel.
Avoiding unnecessary accidents
Pedestrians should make a conscious effort to eliminate distractions, even if they seem harmless. A co-author of the OSU study suggests that parents train their children to put away electronic devices before crossing the street, just as they train them to check for cars beforehand. Adults, meanwhile, need to understand that they truly are putting themselves at risk when they use electronic devices while walking.
A distracted driver
and a distracted pedestrian can both contribute to a pedestrian accident. It is always important for people to be aware of their surroundings, and not assume that everyone else on the road will be more attentive.
People who have been injured in pedestrian accidents due to the negligence of a driver should speak to an attorney to understand what compensation they may be entitled to.
Article provided by Firm Target Portland-Vancouver, OR-WA - Motor Vehicle
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