Although drivers distracted by cell phone use has received a lot of notoriety lately, most people don't consider the effect cell phones have on pedestrians. The boom of mobile devices that not only allow users to talk, but also to text and to surf the internet opened a new world to the new age multitasker. The new distracted walking phenomenon has made crowded city sidewalks perilous for the average commuter.
One such unlucky pedestrian, 25 year old Tiffany Briggs, was “lost in conversation” when she ran into a parked truck (New York Times, Matt Richtel, 1/17). Although distracted walking accidents tend to be much less serious than their driving counterparts, they can be serious and they are increasing dramatically. In 2008, just over a thousand pedestrians made emergency room visits because of walking while talking or texting. An Ohio State University study concluded that the 2008 emergency room visits were two fold the 2007 visits.
As car and truck accident attorneys in Chicago who fight through the city sidewalks filled with distracted walkers in a daily basis, we at Hurley, McKenna & Mertz urge all people to be careful when walking as well as driving, for their own safety as well as the safety of others.