Accidents Caused by Distracted Pedestrians?
San Jose Personal Injury Lawyer for Car, Bike and Pedestrian Accidents
We often hear about the dangers associated with distracted motor vehicle drivers and the accidents and injuries that they cause. Studies show that a driver who is talking on a cell phone, texting, looking at a GPS and even listening to music is not using the full attention required to safely operate a vehicle and, unfortunately, severe injuries and death have been the result of this inattentive driving.
Now lawmakers are focusing on a new danger, distracted pedestrians. In our age of technology, its not just drivers who are constantly using cell phones and iPods. Pedestrians frequently use this technology as well. People enjoy exercising outdoors, most commonly running and biking, and they listen to music to pass the time; block out the city noise; take their mind off their difficult physical exertion for a while.
However, pedestrians are also making themselves inattentive to their surroundings. Automobile drivers are not the only ones on the road that must be vigilant to avoid accidents. Distracted pedestrians and bicyclists are venturing into busy intersections, cutting off cars and creating accidents. As the result, there has been an increase in pedestrian fatalities, according to a recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association. Moreover, when there is an accident between a car and a pedestrian, the pedestrian will be the one to suffer severe injuries and death.
Legislative Efforts To Curb Dangerous Distracted Pedestrians
Many state legislatures are turning their attention to the dangers caused by distracted pedestrians and some are proposing measures to reduce the risks of accidents and injuries. These new regulations are specifically aimed at pedestrian behaviors, which many feel create the distraction.
For example, New York is proposing a bill to ban the use of cell phones, iPods and other hand held electronic devices when crossing an intersection. Similarly, Oregon and Virginia are proposing bills that limit use of these devices for bicyclists. California has been successful in banning the use of hand held electronic devices and texting in drivers and has introduced a bill containing similar measures for bicyclists. If passed, the California bill will fine bicyclists $20 for using cell phones or other electronic devices while biking.
There are some that oppose the new measures aimed at pedestrian cell phone use and feel this is government intrusion on privacy. At some point, people need to be held accountable for their actions and the consequences they cause. However, supporters are alarmed at the increased danger caused by new technology. While it is true that distracted drivers are creating risk that is more severe, inattentive bicyclists and pedestrians are putting more than themselves at risk. As more devices are introduced and continue to grow in popularity, this problem may continue to increase.
If you have been injured due to an accident caused by a distracted driver, bicyclist or pedestrian, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Speak to a personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal options by calling 408-293-7777 or contact us online.