Pedestrians and Distracted Drivers
We live in a digital age that helps streamline our daily lives and improves our communications and access to information. Yet, with the constant use of technological devices comes a disturbing increase in distracted driving accidents. Distracted driving can cover everything from talking on the phone to operating navigation systems. For pedestrians, distracted drivers are a hazard that has caused increased fatalities of almost 50 percent from 2005 to 2010 alone. Statistics may not reflect the true numbers, since distracted driving is not always clearly documented in accident reports. While technology can improve our lives, the growing risk of vehicles to those on foot must be addressed.
In 2017, pedestrian fatalities numbered almost 6,000. New technological improvements, such as smart intersection technology, better speed enforcement, and dashboard cameras have the potential to reduce traffic fatalities for both walkers and drivers, yet, pedestrian fatalities have increased. While distracted driving is not always the cause, more distracted drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists multi-tasking with technological devices are cause for alarm and indicate a plausible correlation.
Potential Protection from Injuries
Injuries in car accidents can be significant, but drivers and passengers have the added barrier of the vehicle for some degree of protection. Those on foot or cycling who are injured by a car have no protection from being struck by a vehicle and it can result in devastating injuries. Pedestrians who are injured experience significant medical treatment and costs, emotional scars, impacted ability to be gainfully employed, and a host of other long-term effects.
One study shows that almost two-thirds of pedestrian victims were males aged 25 to 64, who were more likely to be struck in cities outside designated crosswalks. This statistic indicates that prevention can consist of better maintenance and visibility of pedestrian crosswalks to encourage better usage. In urban locales, such as Atlantic City, pedestrians are more likely to be tourists who are distracted by unfamiliar streets and visual entertainment.
Some U.S. municipalities have enacted ordinances to prohibit smartphone and headphone usage while crossing streets. However, these may not be simple or feasible to enforce. Other solutions include better enforcement of distracted driving laws and increasing penalties for violations.
The legalization of recreational marijuana is another development some researchers see tied to the increase in pedestrian accidents. Seven states that permit recreational usage saw a spike in pedestrian fatalities, but researchers caution that more data is needed.
Atlantic City Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Provide Representation to Car Accident Victims
If you or a family member was injured by a distracted driver, the Atlantic City pedestrian accident lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm can help. We will advocate for your rights and ensure that you receive the medical care and financial compensation you need to get your life back. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we represent injured clients in Atlantic City and throughout South Jersey. Please complete our online form or call us at 609-926-3300 for a free consultation.