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Distracted Walking: Are You a Petextrian?

Posted on in Pedestrian Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois pedestrian accident lawyer,Media and the Internet have saturated the public about the dangers of distracted driving, particularly the perils of texting and driving. This law firm has published many blog posts regarding the deadly dangers these behaviors can result in. However, there is growing concern about the dangers of distracted walking, especially among young people. And now a new government report has revealed that pedestrian fatalities are again on the increase, leading many to believe that the cause of this increase is due in part to “petextrians” – people who text while walking.

The report was prepared by the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA). According to national statistics, pedestrian fatalities showed a steady decline over the past four decades. By the 2000s, just over 10 percent of motor vehicle deaths in this country were pedestrian deaths. However, over the past five years, a steady increase has begun, to the tune of 15 percent. In 2013, approximately 4,700 motor vehicle accident deaths were pedestrians. That means that every two hours, a pedestrian is killed.

The report found that an increase in the number of people who use their cell phones while walking. In fact, that number has doubled since the year 2005. Activities many pedestrians engage in are talking on the phone, texting, or listening to music with headphones on. Unfortunately, these activities leave many people not fully aware of their surroundings, with many petextrians ignoring traffic signals or forgetting to look both ways while crossing the street.

At particular risk are teenagers. The GHSA reports that 40 percent of teens have been hit by a vehicle, motorcycle, or bicycle and half of those victims reported using a cell phone at the time they were struck. Nationally, 50 percent of all pedestrian fatalities involve teenagers. In a study conducted by SafeKids.org, one in five high school students, and one in eight junior high students were distracted walkers. Almost 40 percent were texting and another 40 percent had headphones on.

Practicing good pedestrian habits are important, but unfortunately, you may still end up a victim of a car crash. If you are injured, contact an experienced Lake County injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for your pain and loss.





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