Texting isn’t just dangerous behavior for drivers in Texas; it’s also dangerous for pedestrians. To be sure, as more and more pedestrians are texting while walking, the number of pedestrian-involved motor vehicle accidents has increased dramatically. Consider the following about the percentage of pedestrian accidents that are a result of texting while walking (or otherwise being distracted by a mobile device), who’s liable when texting while walking contributes to a pedestrian crash, and what your options are if you’ve been hit while acting as a pedestrian. Our Austin pedestrian accident attorney at the office of Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law, can help you.
Percentage of Pedestrians Injured and Killed in Texting-While-Walking-Related Accidents
When it comes to texting while walking, the numbers aren’t good. To be sure, an article published in USA Today suggests that there were nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed in crashes in 2017. While the 2017 data mirrors data for 2016, the number was a significant increase from both 2014 and 2015.
It is impossible to say exactly how many of these pedestrians’ deaths–or pedestrian accidents in general–are related to texting while walking or otherwise using a mobile device. That being said, one slightly dated study concluded that those who text while walking were 60 percent more likely to veer off-line than were non-texters. What’s more, research has found that texting while walking has contributed to more than 11,100 injuries over the course of a decade.
The reason why texting while walking is so dangerous is clear: when pedestrians are texting, their eyes are down. This increases the risk of falling, as well as failing to see oncoming vehicles and being struck by a car.
A Driver Isn’t Always at Fault
While drivers certainly must operate their vehicles carefully and keep an eye out for pedestrians, a driver isn’t always liable for a crash. In fact, if a pedestrian’s own negligence–such as using a cellphone–causes or contributes to a pedestrian accident they can be held liable in full or in part, and their recoverable damages award may be reduced as such.
Safe Walking Tips and What to Do if You’ve Been in an Accident
Whenever you’re walking in Austin or elsewhere, it’s smart to put your phone away, take your earbuds out, and give the road your full attention. Always stop and look both ways before proceeding into a roadway, even if you’re at a crosswalk and even if you have the right of way.
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s important that you get the driver’s contact information, file a report with the police, and seek medical care. Then, you should call a lawyer as soon as possible.
Our Lawyer Can Help
If you were texting at the time that you were hit, you may face an uphill battle in terms of proving that your own negligence didn’t contribute to your accident and injuries. At the office of Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law, our lawyers can help. Please call us today for your free consultation and to learn more about your legal options.