Pedestrians and Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become more than a nuisance on the roads of the United States. It is becoming an epidemic, as more and more people are being seriously injured or even killed in distracted driving accidents. Motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians are always a problem, but they are becoming far too common these days because of distracted driving.

Common Causes of Distracted Driving

Some of the most common causes of distracted driving include any of the following:

  • Eating while driving
  • Changing radio stations
  • Entering an address in a GPS system
  • Talking on a cellphone
  • Texting
  • Answering emails
  • Disciplining children in the car
  • Having a pet in the car
  • Loud music

Pedestrians and Cyclists

Over the past decade, the number of motor vehicle deaths has decreased, but the number of deaths for pedestrians and cyclists has increased. The data comes from a study conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

The study found that from 2005 to 2010, the number of pedestrians struck and killed in distracted driving accidents increased from 344 to 500. This is an increase of almost 50%. For cyclists killed from 2005 to 2010, the numbers showed a 30% increase.

Fernando Wilson is an associate professor and Ph.D. from the UNMC College of Public Health. Wilson said the following in a press release from UNMC:

“The evidence on policies curbing distracted driving is very mixed and some research suggests policies are just not working — that we’re not really making a dent on distracted driving,” he said. “If that’s the case, we need to think about marked crosswalks, bike paths — the environment that tries to create a separation between pedestrians and bicyclists with traffic.”

The researchers who worked on the study used data from the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The data was for crashes that occurred on public roads in the United States.

Distracted Pedestrians Also at Risk

Even though distracted driving is a major problem in the United States, distracted pedestrians are also in danger of being injured or killed. More and more people are walking near traffic and crossing streets while talking on cellphones or texting.

According to Dietrich Jehle, a professor of emergency medicine from the University of Buffalo, more than 6,100 pedestrian-related accidents involve cell phone use by the pedestrians. This accounts for 15% of all pedestrian accidents, which total more than 41,000 per year.

Jehle also told WTOP that there are three common distractions for pedestrians. Those three distractions are seeing something else aside from where they are headed, doing something else while walking, and just not paying attention because they are deep in thought.

A study from Ohio State University has found that people between the ages of 16 and 25 are most at risk for acquiring injuries related to cell phones when walking.

Have you or a loved one been injured as a pedestrian in a distracted driving accident? If so, contact Jacobs Law, LLC by using the contact form on our website or by calling (317) 794-2024 today and we will return your call within 24 hours.

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