The Dangers of Distracted Walking in Boston

Distractions aren’t just dangerous while you’re driving. Texting, emailing, and talking on your cell phone while walking can result in serious injuries. In fact, a 33-year old Indiana man recently plummeted to his death when he failed to notice the edge of a cliff in coastal California. And it’s the same story nationwide. Take a stroll through Boston any day of the week and look around. Zombie-like pedestrians seem to be on autopilot as they cross busy intersections, walk under construction scaffolding, and even push strollers, all while staring at their phone screens. Contact a Boston Injury Lawyer Today.

Distracted walking has become so dangerous that the National Security Council has recently added it to its annual injury report as a new category. There are seemingly endless videos of distracted walking accidents on the internet, typically uploaded to garner laughs. However, many accidents related to distracted walking are quite serious. Distracted pedestrians have been struck by bicyclists and motor vehicles, have walked off train platforms, and have fallen into swimming pools. Being distracted also increases your risk of being mugged, or otherwise assaulted.

Distracted Walking E.R. Visits Skyrocket

Certain municipalities have tried methods of reducing distracted walking-related accidents, such as Idaho’s no-texting ordinance at crosswalks, Delaware’s painted crosswalks, and London’s padded lampposts. However, the problem keeps growing. Technology continues to improve and cell phones come out with more features every year. Added features increase our dependency on our cell phones, and this translates to more screen time. For many of us, city-dwellers especially, walking and subway commutes are the perfect time to communicate with friends, complete work tasks, send emails, and take care of online errands. Although it may seem convenient to kill two birds with one stone, it is important to do so wisely. Always remove your eyes from the screen when you are crossing any street or intersection. Emergency room visits for distracted walking-related accidents have risen sharply in the last five years.

Distracted Walking Statistics

There are approximately 1,500 annual emergency room visits for injuries related to distracted walking.

The number of distracted walking-related emergency room visits doubled between 2005 and 2010.

Millennials ages 21-25 are most at risk of distracted walking injuries.A recent study showed that people veered off course 61% of the time when distracted by their phone.

Falls cause 80% of distracted walking injuries.

More than 50% of distracted walking accidents occur in the home.

University of Alabama at Birmingham Professor, David Schwebel, studies what is happening to the brain when a person is texting and walking. According to Schwebel, “Walking actually involves a fair amount of complexity. Our brain has to work hard to make sure we walk safely, especially near traffic. Our brain also has to work hard to text message. It has to think about who you’re reading, how to respond, how to type. Brains can only handle so much. If we give the brain too much to do, mistakes can happen.”

Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Injury Law Firm

If you have been injured in any type of accident, we can help. At Altman & Altman, LLP, our personal injury team has been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims for over 50 years. We will help you determine your rights and options before moving forward. It is our goal to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can get on with your life. Altman & Altman, LLP has an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for clients. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.

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