Almost As Dangerous as Texting and Driving

A couple of years ago, a bit of security footage from a shopping mall gained a lot of attention after it was posted online.  In fact, the clip got over 4 million views, and showed a woman walking directly into a fountain, falling face first into the water. She emerged totally humiliated and completely soaked. (In case you’re not one of the 4 million people who has seen the clip, here it is) Over the last several years we have become increasingly aware of the dangers of texting while driving. But texting while walking can be just as dangerous, if not more so. “Look both ways before you cross the street” is a phrase that our mothers ingrained in our minds as children. The principle behind this rule is simple: be aware of your surroundings. With so many captivating conversations to take part in and videos to watch (hopefully you’re not watching the above video on your phone while walking), a walking while texting accident could happen to most any of us. We text and email more and talk on the phone less, allowing us to multi-task and manage our time more efficiently. The result is that people have grown accustomed to looking down at their phone while they walk, often at a detriment to their awareness of what is happening around them. In a recent study, more than 60% of those surveyed indicated that they do regularly text, listen to music, email or read their mobile device while walking. Interestingly enough, 70 % of those same people admitted that it could be dangerous to do so.  And the numbers bear this out. An estimated 6,100 emergency room visits last year were the result of texting while walking. In fact, while the number of total pedestrian injuries has gone down, the number of pedestrians injured due to mobile devices has tripled since 2004. There are actually more injuries per mile when people text while walking than there are when they text while driving! When you text while you walk you face three kinds of distractions: cognitive, manual, and visual.  Cognitively, you are distracted by reading what someone sent to you or thinking about what you are writing, meaning that your mental energy is dedicated to something other than your safety. The manual distraction is the result of physically doing something with your hands, disrupting your natural walking motion. And visually, if you are looking at your phone, you can’t see what is happening around you. All of this decreases your reaction time, your ability to walk in a straight line, and your awareness.  It also makes you more susceptible to injuring yourself by stepping on something and falling, or walking into something like a sign, a person, or a moving vehicle. In order to avoid these dangers, we simply need to follow mom’s advice and pay attention to where we’re going, especially on the road. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian collision, no matter what the cause, you may be entitled to compensation. Here at Berkshire Ginsberg, LLC we have experienced attorneys who specialize in pedestrian accidents, and they have the knowledge and experience to get you the money you deserve. Contact us today for more information, or to schedule a consultation.