Another Study Examines the Problems of Distracted Walking

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Distracting walking may be one of the most dangerous things a pedestrian can do, say multiple studies. The following provides a recap of one of the most recent studies regarding the dangers of distracting walking, as well as a brief review of previous reports.

Pedestrians Who Ignore ‘Don’t Walk’ Signals More Likely to Be Distracted

The latest study about the dangers of walking while distracted, published in the Journal of Community Health in February of 2015, found that those who most frequently ignore ‘Don’t Walk’ signals in New York are distracted. The study observed 21,760 different pedestrians. Of those, 27.8 percent walking across the road on a ‘Walk’ signal were distracted, and 42 percent of those crossing on a ‘Don’t Walk’ sign were diverted by technology.

Causes of distractions were most commonly those below.

  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Wearing headphones
  • Looking down at a mobile device


Crossing the street without full awareness of what’s happening around you—especially on a ‘Don’t Walk’ signal—is incredibly risky, and impairs your ability to see and hear oncoming motorists. Many bicycle and pedestrian accidents in Redmond are preventable. Awareness can sometimes be the best accident prevention so read on to learn about traveling while distracted.

Cell phone Owners Affected by Distracted Walking

The study cited above isn’t surprising news. In 2012, researchers at The Pew Research Center revealed that 23 percent of cell phone users have accidently bumped into another person while walking; and that 50 percent of cell phone users have been bumped into by someone else using his or her cell phone.

Those most likely to be distracted by a cell phone while walking are young adults ages 18 through 24. A 2011 study suggested that cell phone conversations while walking amongst college students significantly distracted the pedestrians across all pedestrian safety variables measured. Youth pedestrian accident statistics suggest that parents model good cell phone behavior to encourage their kids to walk responsibly.

But talking on a mobile phone or looking down at a cell phone while walking doesn’t always lead to injuries that are as harmless as lightly bumping into a stranger. Instead, an infographic published by Ohio State University in June of 2013 shows that the number of emergency room (ER) visits that have a direct link to distracted walking is growing. In 2008, distracted walking led to 1,055 ER visits, 1,113 in 2009, and 1,506 in 2010.

If I was distracted while walking, can I still seek damages for my injuries?

There’s no doubt that distracted walking is dangerous. However, if a person is using a cell phone or is otherwise distracted while hit by a car, he or she may still be able to recover damages. If you weren’t doing anything illegal (crossing outside of a crosswalk, for example), and if the driver was acting negligently (running a red light, speeding, etc.), then the driver can be held liable for your injuries.

At Max Meyers Law PLLC, our attorneys can fill you in on what you need to know about who may be liable for your injuries if you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident. Even if you were distracted while walking, you are not to blame for your wounds, and deserve representation. Call us today to find out more at 425-399-7000

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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.