So far in our series of blogs on distracted driving, we’ve taken a look at the rising cost of distracted driving, the increased costs of cycling accidents, the cost of distracted driving on the workplace and how to prevent accidents in parking lots. In this week’s blog, we take a look at distracted driving and pedestrian safety.

Why pedestrian safety? Consider these facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • In the next 24 hours, on average, 445 people will be treated in an emergency department for traffic-related pedestrian injuries
  • In the next two hours, on average, one pedestrian will die from injuries in a traffic crash
  • In 2012, more than 4,743 pedestrians were killed in traffic deaths in 2012, and another 76,000 were injured

According to the Pew Research Center, more than half of all adult cellphone users have been on the giving or receiving end of a distracted walking encounter. When you combine distracted driving with distracted walking, it’s no wonder that the number of accidents has sharply increased.

Young adults (in particular those ages 18-24) are especially prone to experience these “distracted walking” encounters. Teenagers are now at the greatest risk for being killed or injured in traffic accidents as pedestrians. They have a death rate twice that of younger children and account for half of all child pedestrian deaths. Following are safety tips specifically for teens:

  • Make eye contact with drivers: Be on the lookout for distracted drivers whose focus may be compromised by other activities
  • Put down devices, toys or other distractions while walking.
  • Cross in front of the school bus. Drivers can’t see those crossing from behind.

Teens aren’t along when it comes to distracted walking accidents. According to statistics from Loyola University Health System, senior citizens make up 13 percent of the population, but account for 23 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. Following are pedestrian safety tips specifically for older adults.

  • Wear sturdy shoes
  • Consider having a walking buddy
  • Have any aids available such as hearing aids, glasses and cane
  • Take extra caution when stepping down from a curb; always look down first
  • Don’t try to beat the “Don’t Walk” sign by rushing to cross the street

Tips that all pedestrians are wise to follow include:

  • Turn down the electronics so you can hear horns and be more alert
  • Cross the street at designated crosswalks or intersections
  • Wear reflective clothing at night
  • Step aside to look at directions or other information on your smartphone
  • It’s safest to walk on a sidewalk, but if one is not available, walk on the shoulder and face traffic

At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., we understand the devastating effects of being injured in an auto accident in Cleveland caused by a distracted driver. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll provide more information about distracted driving and driving safety. Topics will include other ways to keep kids and teens safe and what to do following a car accident.

Please read Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics to learn more about what distracted driving is and the devastating impact it can have on others. You can also visit our distracted driving and texting accident page on our website.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, speak to an auto accident lawyer at NRS right away. Our distracted driving accident attorneys have the experience you need to get the results you deserve and are entitled to by law. Call us toll-free at 1.855.GOT.HURT (1.855.468.4878) or contact us by filling out our No-Risk Consultation Form.