For two years in a row, fatal pedestrian accidents reached almost 6,000. One of the most common reasons? Cellphone use.
And it’s not just distracted drivers. Pedestrians are using their phones to text and access social media while walking. One study shows that 42 percent of pedestrians in midtown Manhattan who crossed traffic during the “don’t walk” signal were using a cellphone. This combination of distracted drivers and distracted walkers is “deadly,” according to a Kelley Blue Book auto analyst.
What can be done to protect pedestrians?
A few U.S. cities enacted laws prohibiting pedestrians from using their phones while walking. But just like laws that prohibit texting and driving, these new laws may have little effect on the problem. Many people are addicted to smartphone use and they willingly put themselves and others at risk by using their phones at inappropriate times.
The consequences of pedestrian accidents are severe
Drivers and pedestrians can suffer terrible consequences in an accident. The pedestrian may be seriously injured or killed. The driver will likely feel tremendous guilt and may face criminal charges, depending on the case.
Of course, no one wants these accidents to happen, but as the numbers show, too many people put their own lives and the lives of others at risk in these situations. For everyone’s sake, we should put down the phone when it’s not safe to use it.