Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney Joseph Lipsky frequently represents injured victims of car accidents caused by drivers who are distracted due to texting while driving. Lately, he has seen a drastic rise in the number of distracted walking accidents. That’s right, distracted walking, when a pedestrian is so engrossed in using their phone that they disregard the dangers around themselves, and actually fall or walk in front of a car.
Mr. Lipsky’s experience is apparently not a fluke. According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, texting while walking is now one of the most often cited reasons for an injured person who is seen at an emergency room. The National Safety Council’s own research indicates that when someone is injured while texting or reading on their phone, those injuries are substantial, and include fractures, concussions and dislocations.
Texting while walking results in what scientists refer to as inattentive blindness. This lack of awareness to a pedestrian’s surroundings resulted in over 2500 emergency room visits. In fact, the study’s research demonstrates that cell phone use while walking results in more than ten percent of all pedestrian related injuries.
Some of the most frequently seen distracted pedestrian accidents occur when the person walks into an area which is uneven or has a change in height. Were the person paying attention to their surroundings, they may have seen obvious curbs, stairs and drops. But when a pedestrian is so focused on their phone, they miss even the most obvious things around them. Multiple studies have shown how distracted pedestrians are oblivious to over the top distractions, such as clowns and characters in costumes, which are purposefully placed along walkways. When asked if they saw these obvious distractions, the texting walkers usually say “no.”
Sadly, those who are most prone to text while walking are teenagers, who often think it is permissible to cross streets while using their phones. This behavior too often results in life changing accidents. As a father and personal injury attorney, Joseph Lipsky reminds everyone, just as if you are behind the wheel of a car, stop what you are doing and pull over if you need to use your phone to text, read or send an email.