Distracted Walking: A Real Danger

you boy texting and distracted walking across street

Texts, playlists and social media posts tempt us to keep our heads down as we walk. But danger exists in distraction — the National Institutes of Health found that pedestrians distracted by music or texts were more likely to be hit by vehicles. To keep you safe, Casey, Devoti & Brockland explains the risks of distracted walking and how to get to your destination safely.

The Risks of Distracted Walking 

This issue may seem silly, but cell phones have become a constant in our daily lives. In fact, the average American reportedly spends 4-6 hours on their phones, while Gen Z spends a whopping 6-8 hours on their phones. People inevitably try to multitask as they travel — as a pedestrian, you should be aware of the risks involved with distractions.

Texting or talking while walking is particularly concerning for younger pedestrians. Teens often lack the executive function skills required for walking and doing something else simultaneously. Multitasking may drastically increase the chance of them failing to see an oncoming vehicle or tripping while walking on the side of the road.

Despite the prevalence of distractions, most of us believe we are the exception to safety concerns. 78% of U.S. adults believe that distracted walking is a serious issue, yet only 29% of respondents will admit that they contribute to the problem. As a pedestrian, you should remain cognizant of dangerous behavior and travel with your own best interests in mind.

Our Pedestrian Safety Tips 

While everyone is guilty of occasionally using their phone while walking, it is fair to assume that children are the most likely to be at risk. Parents who give their children phones must have conversations to reinforce good use habits early on.

Most parents cover basic use rules such as data usage, website restrictions, social media posts and who they communicate with. However, many parents fail to talk to their kids about the danger of automotive crashes resulting from distracted walking. Children must understand the importance of keeping their heads up and avoiding potential hazards.

At the end of the day, texting while walking slows your reaction time and makes it more difficult to notice the hazards ahead. Oncoming traffic, crosswalks, railroad crossings and strangers all pose a risk to those passing by. As a pedestrian, you should stay mindful of hazards to avoid becoming a victim.

As pedestrian attorneys, we suggest you:

  • Keep your phone out of your hands. To avoid temptation, store your phone in a pocket or bag until you arrive at your destination.
  • Stop before sending a text. If you need to take a call or send a message, find a safe distance away from the road and stop there for a moment before continuing on.
  • Do not walk with headphones in. While walking by busy roads, avoid listening to music or podcasts — headphones will muffle the sounds of traffic and potentially lead to a crash.
  • Adopt a “be here now” mentality. To avoid distracted walking, strive to stay in the moment — ensuring you recognize and avoid dangers.

Catch the Latest Legal Insights

As a premier personal injury firm in St. Louis, Casey, Devoti & Brockland creates safety resources in the hopes of stopping injuries before they occur. As a pedestrian, you should strive to keep up with the latest information in safety — explore more tips from our pedestrian attorneys on our legal & safety blog.

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