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Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney / Blog / Distracted Driving / Texting While Walking is Linked to an Increased Risk of Pedestrian Accidents, a Study Shows

Texting While Walking is Linked to an Increased Risk of Pedestrian Accidents, a Study Shows


Nearly every adult in the U.S. uses a cellphone on a daily basis. Most of us are guilty of checking emails, sending texts, or browsing social media while walking. While doing two things at once can save lots of time, using your phone as you walk is more dangerous than you may realize.

In fact, a recent study found that texting while walking is riskier than listening to music or speaking on the phone. Pedestrians who always need to feel connected and cannot put down their phones are more likely to cause a car accident.

Texting While Walking is More Likely to Cause a Car Crash

The study showed that texting was linked to a higher rate of near misses and a pedestrian’s failure to look left and right when crossing the road. By contrast, talking on the phone while walking was associated with only an insignificant increase in time taken to cross the street. Surprisingly, listening to music did not affect pedestrian safety much.

The researchers concluded that pedestrian distraction is an increasing problem in towns and cities in Rhode Island and across the United States. Each year, nearly 6,000 pedestrians are killed in vehicle crashes across the country.

Although the pedestrian distraction study may not be sufficient and requires more in-depth research, distracted driving and walking are common causes of motor vehicle collisions.

Why Texting While Walking is Dangerous

While innovations in safety technology and programs that raise awareness about the danger of distracted driving have increased the survivability of victims in accidents involving a distracted driver, pedestrians still remain vulnerable to serious and fatal injuries when hit by motor vehicles.

In most cities across Rhode Island, including Providence, walking is considered convenient, healthy, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly. However, at the same time, more pedestrians on the street mean a higher likelihood of crashes.

Encouraging pedestrians to stay off the streets is not the solution. But those getting around a city on foot must simply be more aware of their surroundings, which would require them to put down their phone.

While pedestrians cannot eliminate the risk of unsafe behaviors of negligent drivers such as speeding, drunk driving, and others that contribute to pedestrian accidents in Rhode Island, they can minimize the risk of collisions with cars by being alert to traffic and the roadway.

Can a Distracted Pedestrian Be at Fault for an Accident?

But can a pedestrian be at fault for a crash if he or she was texting while walking? While a pedestrian cannot be held liable for a motorist’s unsafe driving behaviors, he or she can anticipate an impending crash in some cases.

However, if a pedestrian is distracted by the cellphone, they are unlikely to be focused on their surroundings and may be unable to avoid a collision when a vehicle is approaching the crosswalk they are entering.

Texting, listening to music, and other cell phone-related distractions are significant contributors to pedestrian and car collisions in Rhode Island. Speak with a Rhode Island distracted driving attorney to establish fault in your crash involving a distracted pedestrian or motorist. Contact Robert E. Craven & Associates to get a consultation. Call at 401-453-2700.





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