Pedestrian accidents in Cleveland and other cities in Ohio often occur when drivers are negligent. For instance, if a driver speeds through a crosswalk or fails to watch for pedestrians, the driver can cause a serious collision in which a pedestrian may suffer serious or fatal injuries. Yet sometimes pedestrians can also be responsible for collisions. While drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, it is important to remember that pedestrians can also be held responsible if he or she was distracted at the time of the crash.

I know from working with pedestrians injured in car crashes that motorists often are at fault for these collisions. At the same time, I want to discuss distracted walking with you and the ways it may reduce or even bar a plaintiff’s recovery in a car accident claim.

What is Distracted Walking? 

You may have heard of distracted driving, or a situation in which a driver gets distracted behind the wheel of an automobile. There are all kinds of reasons for distracted driving accidents, from those caused by a motorist texting while driving to those resulting from a driver attempting to use one hand to eat while steering a car at high speeds. Yet distracted walking may be just as dangerous, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). As the AAOS explains, “today, more and more people are falling down stairs, tripping over curbs and other streetscapes and, in many instances, stepping into traffic, causing cuts, bruises, sprains, and fractures.”

Why are more pedestrian injuries happening? In short, the AAOS suggests that distracted walking is at least partially to blame. In the last 15 years, the number of pedestrians who have suffered injuries as a result of using smart phones has “more than doubled,” according to the AAOS, and approximately 60% of pedestrians are distracted when they are walking. While smart phone use can be one source of distracted walking —such as texting while walking, sending or reading an email while walking, or even talking on the phone—other distractions can plague pedestrians, too. For example, listening to music while walking can be distracting, as can walking while having a conversation.

Common Types of Distracted Walking Behaviors

The AAOS recently commissioned a study on distracted walking and discovered that the following are common distracted walking behaviors:

  • Walking and talking on the phone (about 90% of those surveyed said they witnessed this at least once recently, while nearly 40% of the participants admitted to doing so themselves);
  • 80% have witnessed pedestrians walking while engaged in conversations with other pedestrians, and 75% of those studied do this, too;
  • 80% have seen pedestrians walking with headphones, while 34% of those studied admitted to doing so;
  • 85% recently saw at least one pedestrian using a smartphone for texting, emailing, or other electronic purposes while walking, while 28 percent of the participants admitted to this behavior; and
  • 38% of the participants admitted to recently “zoning out” while walking.

Contact an Ohio Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Were you injured in a car crash in the Cleveland area? I have years of experience as a Cleveland pedestrian accident lawyer helping injury victims with claims in Ohio. Contact me at 877.944.4373 today to learn more about filing a car accident claim. I’ll Make Them Pay!®

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