With more distractions behind the wheel than ever before, more pedestrians are losing their lives and the hands of distracted drivers.
As texting has become ubiquitous, so, it seems, has texting while driving. Distraction.gov reports that texting is one of the most alarming driver distractions, and in 2016 there were nearly half a million passenger vehicles driven by people using handheld cell phones. Tragically, not only has distracted driving, especially texting while driving, contributed to the increase in the overall number of car accidents, but it has increased the number of car accidents involving pedestrians. It is time for drivers to commit to putting away distractions.
Pedestrian Accident Data Nationwide and in Texas
As reported by the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2017, there were 614 pedestrian deaths — more than 50 pedestrians per month. In addition to fatal accidents, there were also 2,198 non-incapacitating crashes, and 1,144 suspected serious injury crashes.
Nationwide, the data is not any better. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2017, there were nearly 6,000 pedestrian deaths across America. According to an article published in Patch.com, pedestrians now account for about 16% of all motor vehicle accident-related deaths – a number that was 11% just a few years ago.
The Link to Distracted Driving
Experts hypothesize that the increase in pedestrian fatalities across the nation can be contributed to, in large part, distracted driving (cheaper gas prices and more SUVs on the road have also contributed to an increase in fatal accidents). Unfortunately, the real statistics involving distracted driving and accidents are hard to come by; distracted driving-related crashes may be underreported because proving distracted driving is so difficult. The data that researchers do have shows that over a six-year period, the number of pedestrians struck and killed by distracted drivers increased by nearly 50%.
Being Safe is Easy: Put Distractions Away
Whether you are walking or driving, there are simple things you can do to improve your safety and the safety of others on the road, starting with putting distractions away. While cell phones are the most obvious distractions, eating while driving, listening to music while driving or walking, attending to passengers, grooming, and more can all be distracting. Note that pedestrians also have a duty to put their phones away while walking to improve their safety and decrease the risk of an accident.
In addition to limiting distractions, remember that speed is a factor in crash risk and crash severity. When driving or walking, always pay attention to whom has the right-of-way and make eye contact with drivers/pedestrians before proceeding. When in doubt, yield.
Our Lawyers can Help
If you have been involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you have the right to hold that driver liable for your injuries. Pedestrian accidents can be fatal; let our skilled lawyers at the offices of Scott M. Brown & Associates help you. Call us today for your consultation. We will start working on your case immediately.