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Understanding the Dangers of Texting for Washington Pedestrians

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on January 25, 2013

It has become common knowledge in recent years that texting while driving is extremely dangerous. Drivers who are texting are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident. Less is known, however, about the dangers of texting while walking. A recent study of busy Seattle intersections showed that a mobile device distracted one in three pedestrians. Seattle pedestrians who were distracted by their phone were four times less likely to pay attention to traffic lights, stay within the crosswalk, or even look up before crossing.

Nationwide, the number of traffic-related fatalities is at historic lows, except in circumstances involving pedestrians. Many believe that the rising number of pedestrian fatalities is related to the increasing number of people using their phone to send texts, check email, browse the Internet, and listen to music. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), at least 1,100 people were hospitalized after using a mobile device while walking in the year 2011.

Washington State has not enacted penalties, but there are specific cell phone bans for drivers. Under Washington law, handheld use of cell phones has been banned. All novice drivers are banned from using handheld and hands-free devices and there is a ban on texting for all drivers. It is important for all Seattle drivers and pedestrians to pay attention to the road. If a distracted driver injures you, however, you have the right to pursue financial compensation for your losses. A skilled Washington pedestrian injury attorney can help prove liability for the incident and help you get fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other related damages.

The experienced attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. have a successful track record of holding distracted and negligent drivers accountable for their actions. If a distracted motorist has hurt you or a loved one, please call our offices right away at (888) 228-3860 for a free consultation on your legal options.

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