Distracted driving is an epidemic. Turns out, distracted pedestrians on their mobile devices are a problem too. Researchers at Ohio State found that phone-related injuries to pedestrians doubled from 2005 to 2010. Those numbers are expected to double when the 2010-2015 data is released.
What does this have to do with Halloween? Well, you can imagine the number of cell phones that are going to be in use when adorable children are walking the streets and knocking on doors. Parents will be distracted snapping photos of them. Kids will be excited and hard to control. Teens will be free to roam and taking selfies galore. An incredibly distracting cell phone is a big recipe for disaster that can lead to pedestrian-related auto accidents on Halloween.
Cell-Phone Related Pedestrian Accidents
Young people aged 16 to 25 are the most likely to be hurt when using a cell phone while walking, according to the research gathered, but every cell phone user is susceptible to the side effects of trying to multitask while using a mobile device. A study at Stony Brook University found that distracted walkers were 61 percent more likely to veer off course and 13 percent more likely to overshoot their target – like the end of a sidewalk – than when not distracted. Pedestrians have fallen off of bridges and piers and subway platforms, blindly walked into street signs, and been struck by cars while talking on a phone.
Talking on the phone while walking accounted for almost 70 percent of pedestrian injuries in the Ohio State research, compared to texting while walking which accounted for about 9 percent. This doesn’t mean that texting is necessarily safer than talking and walking – it just indicates that fewer people text while walking and are more likely to talk while walking.
Practice Halloween Safety
Along with putting your phone away when you get behind the wheel, you should put your phone away when you’re walking down the street. Snap the Halloween photo of your child when you’re all standing still (those smartphones – no matter how smart – still take blurry pics much of the time anyway so the more static the subject the better). Put the phone away and pay attention to the experience unfolding before you with your kids, and tell your teens to put their phones in their pocket for the duration of their trick-or-treating (or whatever it is they do).
If you have been involved in a pedestrian-related auto accident because of a distracted driver or distracted pedestrian, contact Femminineo Attorneys PLLC to speak with personal injury attorney David C. Femminineo about your case.