Drivers: Share the road and remain mindful of texting pedestrians

Laws prohibiting distracted driving have gone into effect and an Arizona motorist found using a mobile device while operating a vehicle may receive a ticket. Distracted walking, however, has not yet become a serious enough issue to merit a penalty even though pedestrian accidents have increased. 

While pedestrians continue to use mobile phones during their outdoor commutes and walks, it could result in higher accident risks. Researchers found that pedestrians who send text messages face more dangers than they do when listening to music while walking. Talking on a cell phone during a walk may pose a lesser threat than texting. 

Mobile devices contribute to distractions affecting everyone on the road 

As reported by CNN, nearly one-fifth of fatal traffic accidents occur while pedestrians are using their mobile devices. Accordingly, distractions such as reading a text message or viewing a social media app may contribute to a higher likelihood of pedestrian collisions. 

Posing for pictures while on the street and uploading them may appear less harmful because it does not require a constant flow of motion. Text messaging, however, may create a greater risk of an accident because it generally requires an individual’s undivided attention. 

Everyone benefits when drivers remain mindful of others who share the roads with them. It is not unreasonable to assume that pedestrians, bike riders and motorcyclists are all capable of becoming distracted. 

Fatal pedestrian accidents have increased 

The estimated pedestrian fatalities occurring in 2018 numbered more than 6,000, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. This represents the highest degree of pedestrian accidents during a study period of more than two decades. As mobile devices become more widespread for carrying out everyday tasks, distractions could continue to rise. 

Whether due to a motorist, unsafe sidewalks or their own distraction, pedestrians run a risk of injury on or near roadways. In cases of serious harm, a legal action may help in recovering. Compensation may include medical expenses, physical therapy and loss of income. A jury may also award punitive damages under circumstances in which a distracted driver or hazardous sidewalk conditions were at fault.