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Distractions Increase Risk of Pedestrian Accidents

At our Georgia personal injury law firm, we’ve seen the consequences of being distracted behind the wheel through cell phone use, changing CDs etc., and the devastating motor vehicle accidents these behaviors can cause. A new study shows that these distractions are just as dangerous for their ability to cause pedestrian accidents.

Research is being conducted at the Ohio State University to determine the effect that the use of electronic devices, including cell phones and MP3 players has on pedestrians.According to this report, incidents of distracted pedestrians being hit by cars and even trains are becoming more frequent.

Multitasking is a fact of modern life, and pedestrians who can’t fight the urge to slip on their headphones or stay in touch with the office on their cell phone are at an increased risk of being involved in an accident.We don’t think twice when we see a pedestrian walking with his headset on, swaying to the music, but researchers and doctors are worried that the distractions caused by the use of such electronic devices are severe enough to be a health hazard. The number of pedestrians being rushed to emergency rooms with injuries sustained being struck by vehicles while they were talking or text messaging on their cell phone or listening to music, have increased.These pedestrians are at a high risk of being unable to hear a car horn, or notice a motorcycle making a turn just ahead of them.It’s not just those walking on the streets that are at risk from such distractions. In the last two months, at least two people in North Carolina alone were killed as they walked on train tracks with music playing on their headsets.They failed to hear the train engine as it came hurtling towards them.

There haven’t been enough studies done to prove a definite link between pedestrian use of electronic devices and a higher risk of accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration doesn’t include statistics of pedestrian fatalities from electronic device distractions in its database, but representatives at the agency have already voiced their concern over these increasing numbers.

Being 100 percent attentive on the road – whether you’re behind a wheel or walking on the sidewalk – is really a matter of common sense.Pedestrians have the highest risk of fatalities when they are involved in an accident simply because they don’t have the tough armor of an automobile’s body shielding them from serious injury or the safety that comes with seat belts and air bags. As Atlanta personal injury attorneys, it makes sense to us that pedestrians avoid accidents in the first place by switching off their cell phones and taking off their headsets.

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