April 15th, 2013 - by DKRPA
We often talk about the dangerous and amazingly reckless decisions that drivers make on the road. Near the top of this list (and arguably on top of it) is texting. Texting while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle is a negligent act; and it for those who do not partake in the dangerous act, it is inconceivable how someone could think that it is okay to do.
But this is not a reckless act reserved for drivers. Texting is an absorbing and very distracting activity — and pedestrians can be just as guilty as drivers when it comes to making local streets a little more dangerous.
According to a new study, texting pedestrians are far more common than you may think. Researchers monitored the behaviors of more than 1,100 pedestrians at high-risk intersections. The times at which they observed pedestrians were random.
Their findings were very revealing — nearly 30 percent of pedestrians partook in some kind of distracting behavior as they crossed the intersection.
Some of these people were making a phone call; some of these people were listening to music; and 7.3 percent of all pedestrians researchers observed were texting while they entered the crosswalk. At the same time, researchers found texting pedestrians took longer to cross the road and four times as likely to break a traffic law (like missing a signal or not looking for traffic).
Clearly there are some serious issues here that need to be addressed by safety officials. In the meantime, many people are left to fend for themselves in the wake of an accident that involves a motor vehicle and a pedestrian — and in those cases, the victims need to consult an experienced attorney so that they are fully aware of their impending legal situation, and the options they have.
Source: The Atlantic, “Study: 1 in 3 People Is Distracted by Their Phone While Crossing Busy Streets,” James Hamblin, April 15, 2013
Please visit our Palm Beach pedestrian accident page to learn more.