Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle collisions. It is also one of the leading causes of motor vehicles striking pedestrians.
Types of Distracted Driving
Drivers may be distracted due to any number of things including the following:
- Use of smartphones or other mobile devices – Mobile devices can be very distracting. When a driver is texting or talking on their phone, he or she will not have his or her full attention on the road. Even a couple of seconds looking at your phone can be enough to miss a pedestrian entering an intersection. It can wait! If it’s urgent, pull over to attend to the situation.
- Drinking or eating – Many drivers drink or eat behind the wheel and don’t give a second thought to the dangers involved. It only takes an instant of taking your eyes off the road to unwrap food to eat or reach for a can of soda for an accident to occur. As with texting and driving, that second could be enough to miss the pedestrian entering the intersection.
- Tinkering – Driving can be boring. However, it is important to keep your full attention on the road. Drivers may be tempted to take their eyes off the road to fidget with the CD player or some other item in the vehicle. Set yourself up for the trip before you start driving.
- Primping – Some drivers try to save time by shaving or putting on makeup in the car. Obviously, this should be done at home and not while driving as these activities increase the risk of a collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian.
Pedestrians Also Have a Responsibility
Although distracted drivers cause many accidents, pedestrians also have a responsibility for their own safety. Remember what your parents taught you about crossing the road – stay alert and look both ways before crossing. Some additional safety tips for pedestrians include:
- Making eye contact with drivers – Make eye contact with the driver of the oncoming vehicle before entering a crosswalk. If the driver acknowledges you, you are much more likely to avoid a collision.
- Avoid distracted walking – Pedestrians too can be guilty of engaging in activities that are distracting including texting, talking on mobile devices, and listening to music while walking. While it is true that a distracted pedestrian is not as likely to harm someone else, you put yourself at risk when you are not fully present.
- Cross in front of the vehicle – Avoid crossing the street behind a stationary vehicle. Oncoming drivers can’t see you as easily and if there is a driver in the stationary vehicle, he may back up and hit you.
Compensation for Injured Pedestrians
Pedestrian accident claims are challenging under any circumstances. In many cases, the injuries to the pedestrian are catastrophic and proving the value of those injuries is complex. But the starting point is to establish fault. When you believe the driver was distracted and the distraction caused the collision, you have another element of proof.
An experienced personal injury attorney like those at Smith Stag can help you present all aspects of your claim including fault and the full extent of your injuries. We will negotiate with the insurance company so that you receive a settlement that covers your losses. Please call us today for a free claim evaluation.