Everyone’s heard about how you should not talk or text while driving. Driving distracted is one of the major causes of accidents in the country, but what about walking while distracted? Is it dangerous too?
Just like driving, walking requires us to pay attention to our surroundings and where we are going as we travel through time and space. Whether we are on the sidewalk, by the side of the road, or crossing in a walkway, you’ve probably been walking somewhere at some point this year.
When you’re not paying attention while walking, it can actually be very dangerous. You don’t have as much focus available to see things you might stumble upon, people that you might bump into, or even cars that have failed to see you crossing the street. Never assume that people are paying more attention than you are, because they may not be.
Walking while distracted can be pretty risky and could result in serious harm to you or others. More than one vehicle has swerved or slammed on the brakes for a pedestrian that has decided to cross the street but is not in a designated walkway or suddenly runs out in front of traffic. So avoiding jaywalking is also key, but you have to pay attention even while crossing the road in the designated walkway because you have no idea whether people will truly see you.
For this reason, you really should not be totally absorbed when walking. Whether it’s in your thoughts or on your phone, when you’re not paying attention to what you are doing, you’re running the risk of setting yourself up for disaster.
Pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic killed over four thousand people in the U.S. in 2011, so this does happen every day. While walking distracted does not guarantee an accident, it certainly sets you up to be more likely to be in one. That same year, over a thousand people went to the ER simply for injuries directly related to using their electronic device or phone and being in motion.
If you’re staring at your phone or busy thinking, you’re not looking at where you’re going. You could step off the sidewalk or twist your ankle by stepping on the curb. Perhaps you stumble into a pole or a sign or walk into a fire hydrant. It’s happened before, and the truth is that there actually are a lot of objects and things in motion to look out for when walking– it’s just in the past decade that we’ve had a consistent distraction that’s more appealing than watching where we’re going.
Tips for Avoiding Distracted Walking
- Lower volume or turn off sound while crossing the road and wearing headphones. Keep volume reasonable so you can hear external noises.
- Never stand in the road or walk off the sidewalk.
- Do not stare at your phone without checking your surroundings, especially when crossing the street.
- Stand to the side in a safe area if you want to use your phone.
- Never think a vehicle will see you.
- Try to keep safety in mind over convenience or desire.
Have you been in an accident due to distracted walking? A pedestrian accident lawyer may be able to help. Call The Law Offices of Payas, Payas, and Payas today to find out more!