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The Dangers of Distracted Walking

Since the invention of cellphones and other electronic devices, our society has become overstimulated and distracted. There is a constant need to be connected to the world, our friends, our family, and this desire sometimes leads to electronic addiction. In most cases, our biggest fear regarding distraction occurs when we are operating and maneuvering our cars. Every state now has some variation of distracted driving laws that ensure that there are penalties for the use of an electronic device while driving. This is because there are serious dangers that are already associated with the act of driving - run-of-the-mill accidents due to external factors like the weather - let alone when you drive with one eye on your cellphone and one hand typing out the perfect text.

States are starting to tackle the injuries and accidents that occur as a result of distracted walking, as well. An overwhelming number of injuries are now associated with the new Pokemon Go app, which has the world walking with its eyes on a phone to catch a Pokemon rather than an eye to the surroundings.

The Injury Statistics of Distracted Walkers

According to the Atlantic, distracted walking has claimed more victims than distracted driving. The study, which was conducted by Ohio State University, found that between 2004 and 2010, the number of accidents associated with distracted walking rose from 256 to 1,506. However, this number does not represent those who did not go to the emergency room for their injuries or those who died on the scene. The article suggested that those numbers could be even higher. What makes distracted walkers particularly dangerous is the fact that pedestrians who are on their cellphones take longer to cross the street, they may ignore or not even see the changing of lights or signs, and they may forget to look both ways.

Statistics for those Injured While Wearing Headphones

There are also statistics associated with pedestrians injured while wearing headphones. According to the University of Maryland School of Medicine, between 2004 and 2011 there were 116 accidents were the pedestrian involved was wearing headphones at the time of the collision. Unfortunately, 81 of the 116 accidents ended in a fatality. Of the victims involved in many of these cases, the median age was approximately 21 and the majority, roughly 68%, were men. Those with headphones may suffer from sensory deprivation and completely miss the sounds (and warnings) of their surroundings.

States Attempts to Attack Distracted Walking and Decrease Dangers

Currently states have attempted to draft legislation that would limit the amount of distracted walking-related accidents. Maryland has legislation that limits the use of headphones while out in the street, in particular for bicyclists. Other states have attempted to ban the use of electronic devices, more specifically cellphones, while crossing the street. New Jersey recently introduced a bill that would give $50 fines, 15 days in jail, or the combination of the two for those who walk and text. One state passes out mock tickets to those who text and walk to increase awareness about the dangers of distracted walking. It may be only a matter of time before we see a successful law in Maryland that will help to decrease the number of accidents associated with distracted walking.

Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You

Distracted walking and driving can lead to many serious and often fatal accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a distracted individual, and you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Please call the Law Office of Robert R. Castro at (301) 804-2312 for a confidential consultation.

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