pedestrian sign

Pedestrian Deaths Are on the Rise

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), approximately 7000 pedestrians were killed in automobile crashes in 2019.  This is the highest number of pedestrian deaths in over 30 years. Although it’s difficult to pinpoint the reason for the increase, the GHSA believes it may be related to the growing use of smartphones by drivers and pedestrians. 

The dangers of walking while using a smartphone

In 2012, Stony Brook University published a study that concluded that pedestrians who use smartphones while walking were 60% more likely than other pedestrians to veer off course. Scientists refer to this phenomenon as inattentional blindness. According to experts, human beings are only truly able to focus on one task at a time. Therefore, pedestrians who use their smartphones while walking are unable to give their full attention to their surroundings. This results in accidents. 

Risks of distracted walking

When pedestrians use smartphones while walking, accidents are bound to happen. And these accidents often result in injuries, many of them severe. Some common types of injuries that result from distracted walking include: 

  • Abrasions 
  • Bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Fractures
  • Concussions
  • Brain injuries
  • Back injuries

How to stay safe as a pedestrian 

The best way to stay safe while walking is to avoid using your smartphone. Pedestrians who remain aware of their surroundings are far less likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents. However, if you absolutely must use your phone while walking, the following tips can help reduce your odds of being involved in an accident. 

  • Be sure to only cross the road at crosswalks.
  • Hold your phone up higher in your field of vision in order to better see your surroundings. 
  • Remain aware of and obey traffic signals.
  • Take periodic breaks from using your device to assess your surroundings.
  • Install software that reads your messages aloud.
  • Use voice recognition software to send text messages rather than typing them out manually. 
  • In order to be able to hear what’s going on around you, keep the volume on your phone low, or only use one earbud. 

Contact a West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney 

If you’ve suffered injuries in a West Virginia pedestrian accident, you need an experienced West Virginia personal injury attorney in your corner. At Hewitt & Salvatore, our experienced personal injury attorneys will fight hard to ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries. When you choose Hewitt & Salvatore to handle your West Virginia personal injury case, you can be sure that our attorneys will do everything in our power to see your claim through to a successful conclusion. So, if you’ve been hurt in a West Virginia pedestrian accident, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our talented West Virginia personal injury attorneys.