A study out of the University of Washington recently found that up to one in three pedestrians are distracted while crossing streets – usually by cell phones or other mobile devices. Texting seems to be the most dangerous activity that pedestrians engage in. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that in 2012 over 1150 distracted pedestrians across the nation had to be admitted to Emergency Rooms due to the severity of their injuries. This is a fourfold rise in the number of serious injuries caused by distracted walking in the past seven years.
According to the University of Washington study, only about 25% of the distracted pedestrians observed looked both ways before crossing the street and 20% did not obey the light. 6% of the distracted pedestrians did not cross at appropriate locations. Most distracted walkers took longer to cross the street than non-distracted pedestrians, according to the study. 11% of the distracted pedestrians were listening to music, while 7% were texting and 6% were speaking on a mobile phone.
For pedestrians in North Miami Beach, there many ways to avoid pedestrian accidents caused by distracted walking:
1) Shut off mobile devices before walking. If you are walking as part of your commute or in order to stay fit, turn off your mobile device. This is especially important if you will be crossing streets or walking in areas that share pedestrian and road traffic. Since many pedestrian accidents in North Miami Beach and across Florida appear to be caused by distracted walking, simply turning off your devices and refusing to text and walk can reduce your risk of an accident.
2) Consider walking with a friend. Walking with a friend is a lot less distracting than trying to text a friend as you walk. Walking with a friend also ensures that you can enjoy some entertainment or some social interaction while you walk. With two sets of eyes on the road, you also can increase your chances that you will see any potential hazards in your way.
3) Maintain good visibility. You want to ensure that you can both see correctly and be seen easily while walking. This is especially important if you share the road with vehicles. Wear light-colored, reflective clothing, especially if you’re walking in the dark or in dim lighting. Make sure that you don’t wear a hood or any obstruction that would make it hard for you to see oncoming cars.
4) Be wary of listening to music while walking. While it may seem less distracting than texting because you at least can keep your eyes on the road, listening to music prevents you from hearing important audio clues – such as the beeping of a car horn – that can help prevent a traffic accident or car accident in North Miami Beach.
5) Wear proper clothing for a walk. Trip and fall accidents and slip and fall accidents in North Miami Beach and across South Florida are a common hazard for pedestrians. Sturdy shoes as well as clothing that allows you to move freely is important in preventing injuries and accidents.
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident in North Miami Beach or anywhere in South Florida and you believe that the accident may have been caused by someone’s negligence or recklessness, contact the Flaxman Law Group legal team to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. Your initial consultation is free and comes with no obligation. It allows you to ask questions and to get information before you make a decision in your case.