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Put down your cellphone and...walk

We have discussed the risks of distracted driving quite a bit in this San Diego Personal Injury blog. Talking on cellphones, putting makeup on behind the wheel and toying with navigation systems causes dangerous car accidents resulting in injuries frequently in California. A new study, however, says that pedestrians, too, may be to blame for a number of distraction-related accidents.

The Ohio State University research determined that distracted walking actually causes more injuries than distracted driving.


Researchers reviewed data on cellphone-related emergency room trips involving motor vehicle drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists between 2004 and 2010.

They found that almost 70 percent of the injuries that took place during this time frame involved people who were talking on their cellphones. In one instance, a man chatting on the phone walked right into a pole. In another, a 14-year-old young man fell off of a bridge and into a ditch while walking and talking on a cellphone.

The majority of pedestrians injured due to distracted walking were males under the age of 31.

The researchers also found that distracted walking--like distracted driving--is on the rise. In 2004,about 256 distracted walking-related injuries resulted in emergency room visits and this number rose to 1,506 by the year 2010.

Pedestrians, like drivers, need to pay attention to the task at hand in order to avoid accidents. Pedestrians are, of course, at a great risk of catastrophic injury if involved in a collision with a motor vehicle.For this reason, drivers here in California need to ensure that not only they avoid distracted driving, but that they remain on the lookout for distracted pedestrians. 

When people are injured due to the negligence of another--such as a distracted driver or pedestrian--they may benefit from seeking legal counsel regarding their right to pursue a personal injury claim.

Source: The Atlantic, "Study: 'Distracted Walking' Causes More Injuries Than Distracted Driving," Lindsay Abrams, June 20, 2013

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