In 2017, Honolulu, Hawaii, became the first major city in the United States to make it illegal for pedestrians to use their cellphones while walking except for emergency purposes. The Distracted Walking Law was put into effect because Honolulu had more pedestrians being hit in crosswalks by vehicles than most other major cities in the country. But this problem is definitely not just confined to Honolulu. All across the United States, pedestrians are tripping, running into objects and even stepping in front of vehicles because they are staring at the screens on their cell phones. Recently, a report revealed that the number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents jumped by 11 percent in 2016. And it's believed that distracted walkers may be one of the major reasons why there has been such a dramatic jump in the number of fatalities. Of course, these pedestrians aren't just causing major issues for themselves. Motorists trying to avoid distracted pedestrians are also getting into accidents with other vehicles. In addition, drivers and passengers are also being injured during collisions with pedestrians who are texting, Facebooking, Tweeting or using their phones for other purposes.
If you should get in an accident with a distracted pedestrian, you may need to seek legal counsel for several reasons, including:
- The pedestrian may try to place the blame for the accident on you, even if they were clearly at fault.
- You or your passengers may need compensation for injuries or property damage caused by the accident with the distracted pedestrian.
If your case were to go to trial, an experienced car accident attorney will know the best ways to protect you and/or seek compensation for your injuries and damages. For example, an attorney may want to subpoena the distracted walker's cell phone records to see if any calls or texts were made or placed during the time period in which the accident occurred. In addition, an attorney experienced in medical malpractice could also help you if you had any injuries during the accident that were treated improperly by a physician.
Distracted walking has become a huge problem in the United States and, unfortunately, some pedestrians may try to pin the blame on the driver. At the least, this could result in a traffic violation and points on a motorist's driving record. In a worst case situation, a motorist could end up having to deal with an expensive lawsuit or even facing jail time for an incident that may not even be truly their fault.