Most people know about the role distracted driving plays in causing car accidents, but many people don’t realize that texting or surfing the internet on your smartphone while walking is equally dangerous. A recent study revealed that accidents and injuries to pedestrians using so-called smart phones has doubled since 2005. We, as personal injury lawyers who help accident victims in Jacksonville, were alarmed by the rapid increase in distracted walking accidents.
The study, which appeared in the most recent edition of Accident Analysis and Prevention, was the result of an analysis of accident data reported from hundreds of hospital emergency rooms across the country. Pedestrian injuries related to cell phones ranged from falling off walkways or bridges to walking in front of moving traffic. The study found that in 2010, 1,500 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms for cell-phone related incidents, as opposed to a mere 559 in 2004.
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Not surprisingly, the most frequently injured class of smart phone using pedestrians is made up of people under thirty year of age. That age groups increasing and constant use of social media services, and their instant, need it now, mentality is certainly a contributing reason for their prevalence of injuries and accidents. To try an arrest these distracted walking accidents, many colleges have begun educating students to the dangers of using smart phones while walking. The basic rule, just like those taught about using a smartphone while driving, is before reaching for your phone-stop walking and move out of the way.
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