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Study Shows Distracted Drivers are Distracted Pedestrians

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on July 9, 2014

Distracted Injury AccidentsIt is common knowledge that distracted driving is a serious problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,328 people were killed and about 421,000 were injured in distraction-related accidents in 2012. It is less known just how common distracted walking is. Pedestrians in Seattle who are more focused on their phones than the roadway often do not realize the danger they are in until it is too late.

According to PEMCO Insurance Northwest, eight out of 10 drivers in the Northwest are quick to identify distracted pedestrians, but two-thirds of pedestrians in Washington and Oregon say they are rarely distracted while on foot. This suggests that people are often not even aware that they are distracted while walking. Talking on the phone, checking email, texting and listening to music has become so commonplace that we often fail to notice how distracting these actions are. Nearly half of the respondents in the poll say they are only distracted when talking to other pedestrians.

It is vital for all Seattle pedestrians to keep their eyes on their surroundings. Pedestrian accidents accounted for 16 percent of total traffic fatalities in Washington and Oregon in the year 2012. During that same year, 55 pedestrians were killed in Oregon and 72 were killed in Washington. Not all of these fatalities were distraction-related, but a University of Washington study found that texting pedestrians are 3.9 times more likely to indulge in unsafe behavior.

Distracted pedestrians regularly put themselves in danger by:

  • Disobeying traffic lights
  • Crossing mid-intersection
  • Failing to look left, right and left again
  • Stumbling over debris on the sidewalk
  • Crossing in front of a driveway without looking
  • Failing to make eye contact with drivers before stepping onto the roadway

Please remember that walking near traffic is extremely dangerous. It is in your best interests to keep your mind and eyes on the traffic at all times. Your texts, emails and phone messages can wait until you reach your destination. If you are injured while walking in Seattle, make sure you learn about your legal options. If driver negligence caused or contributed to the accident, you may be able to seek support for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other related damages. The experienced Seattle pedestrian accident attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. can help you obtain fair and full compensation for your losses.

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