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How big of a problem are distracted pedestrians?

There is a lot of information in the media about the dangers being distracted by one’s cell phone can pose. While the primary focus of the messages communicated is often on distracted driving, some messaging has revolved around pedestrians who are injured because of being distracted by their phones.

While there are plenty of online viral videos of these incidents occurring, a recent article points out that unlike motor vehicle accident statistics that reveal the major impact mobile devices have had, there is nothing that reveals a similar trend where pedestrian accidents are concerned. In fact, since 2005, statistics provided by the city of Toronto indicate pedestrian collisions labelled as inattentive have been on the decline.

According to a Toronto pedestrian activist, unlike drivers, pedestrians who travel at an average walking pace can multitask while walking without colliding with others. In addition to using a phone to talk or text, these activities could include talking to a companion or looking in the windows of shops while walking by. A study recently conducted in England suggests this could be due to a pedestrian’s natural inclination to slow down his or her walking pace when encountering obstacles.

While there are of course situations where a pedestrian who is distracted by a mobile device could be involved in an accident, as compared to those involving distracted driving, they are fewer and often lead to less serious injuries. The weight, size and speed of the average vehicle contribute to this discrepancy.

If you, a friend or a family member are victims of someone’s negligence and suffering from injuries and losses, contact us to speak to one of our lawyers to know your rights and what steps you should be taking in order to protect your rights for the future.

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