We’ve all laughed at the viral YouTube videos of people fixated on their smartphones bumping into poles or walking into mall fountains. While texting and driving has garnered much attention due to its dangerous outcomes, statistics of accidents involving texting and walking have skyrocketed. Texas ranks No. 8 for “most dangerous states for walking in the United States,” according to Smart Growth America.
The Safe Kids Worldwide organization found that pedestrian deaths for teens between ages 15 to 19 now account for about 50 percent of pedestrian fatalities among those who are younger than 19. They took that link and directed it straight to distracted walking.
Brad says, “It’s not just texting, they may be browsing social media, doing a search in Google, taking photos for Instagram, skipping to another playlist or looking at GPS. Now there is more temptation than ever to engage with a device all the time.”
The National Safety Council is focused on efforts to eliminate distracted walking – specifically walking while using a mobile device. Kids often don't recognize the dangers of distracted walking, so before your children head out remind them of these year-round safety tips:
- If texting, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk.
- Never cross the street while using an electronic device.
- Do not walk with headphones in your ears.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Always walk on the sidewalk if one is available; if you must walk on the street, face oncoming traffic.
- Look left, right, then left again before crossing the street.
- Cross only at crosswalks.
“People may think they are being responsible if they are utilizing hands-free devices. It’s better but not by much. For example, have you ever been texting on your phone, and after you hang up you have to ask yourself where you are? Do you ever forget what you’re doing because you are so engrossed in your phone? This is evidence that both texting and talking while trying to do anything else affects your overall awareness,” Brad says.
A behavior prevalent on most city streets and can be dangerous for all road users because often many twalkers wear headphones and cannot hear the auditory cues that signal imminent harm, such as horns, shouts, or the sound of approaching cars. As a result, the number of injuries and deaths caused by twalking in the U.S. has tripled in the last seven years. In 2019 pedestrian deaths across the country were at their highest level since 1990.
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At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.