Buffalo Pedestrians Risk Personal Injury By Walking While Distracted.

July 9, 2013

It is well documented that the risk of a personal injury accident occurring in Buffalo or elsewhere greatly increases when a driver is talking on a cell phone, texting, or otherwise distracted.  Much less attention has been paid to the impact of using the phone or surfing the internet on pedestrian behavior.  A recent study led by an Ohio State University professor indicates that pedestrians are not just in danger from distracted drivers, but also from their own divided attention when walking while using a cell phone.

The study found that while the overall number of pedestrians treated in emergency rooms following an injury accident declined from 2005 to 2010, the number of reported injuries that occurred while a pedestrian was distracted by cell phone use more than doubled over that same time period.  More than 1,500 pedestrians in the United States were injured in accidents linked to their cell phone use in 2010, and the researchers speculate that as the use of electronic devices continues to increase, this number may double again by 2015.

Pedestrians between the ages of 16 to 25 were found the most likely group to be injured while distracted.  To combat this problem, the study recommended public awareness campaigns aimed both at educating pedestrians and reminding drivers to watch out for pedestrians.

From a personal injury law standpoint, walking while distracted not only increases a person’s risk of injury, but also makes it more difficult to obtain full compensation from a driver who hits a distracted pedestrian.  Even if the driver was clearly negligent, the defense is likely to argue the pedestrian’s own behavior contributed to the accident.

If you were struck by a car and have any questions about your rights or how to pay your medical bills, please feel free to call us at 716-400-0000.

Source: “Study: Distracted Walking Accidents On The Rise,” CBS New York, June 21, 2013