Electronic Devices Blamed for Surge in Pedestrian Accidents
Walking is more than just a form of physical fitness and recreation in Charleston and other towns throughout South Carolina. For many residents, it provides a fast, convenient, and cost effective way to get to work, shopping, or school. Unfortunately, as increasing numbers of people crowd busy sidewalks and street, the number of pedestrian accidents has increased as well. These accidents often result in serious personal injuries that have the potential to be life threatening or fatal. Being preoccupied with electronic devices is often a contributing cause.
South Carolina Pedestrian Accidents
According to the latest data from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the number of people walking to and from work or school has risen dramatically over the past decade. In 2005, nearly four million people relied on walking as a primary means of transportation. As of 2015, this number increased by more than one million. Correspondingly, pedestrian accidents have also increased dramatically and now occur at record setting proportions.
The GHSA reports that for the first time in two decades, there were more than 6,000 people killed in pedestrian accidents during 2016, while tens of thousands of others suffered serious injuries. Among states with the greatest numbers of pedestrian fatalities, South Carolina is now ranked third, with 66 deaths reported during the first six months of 2016 alone, compared to 57 deaths during the same time frame during 2015. Efforts being made in the Palmetto State and in other areas to reduce these numbers include making the following changes:
- Increasing sidewalks and pedestrian overpasses
- Adding more lighting on sidewalks and roadways
- Providing additional traffic signals and high visibility crosswalks
- Using rapid flashing beacons (RFB) on pedestrians signs
- Adding additional law enforcement to prevent speeding and other traffic infractions
Electronic Devices and Pedestrian Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) states that one of the factors responsible for the increase in the number of pedestrian accidents and injuries is our reliance on the use of electronic devices. As a common type of distraction, accidents involving the use of electronic devices result in as many as 500,000 injuries and close to 4,000 deaths each year.
The NHTSA states that talking on cellphones, texting, posting to social media, playing games, and listening to personal music devices distract you from the task of walking and make pedestrian accidents more likely to occur due to the following:
- Stepping off sidewalks without looking both ways
- Accidentally wandering off walkways and trails
- Failing to keep a safe pace when walking or crossing the street
- Disregarding changes in traffic signals
- Failing to notice erratic behavior on the part of drivers or other pedestrians
Been In An Accident? Get Help Today
If you have been in a pedestrian accident, the driver involved may accountable for the injuries and damages you suffer. Call or contact Anastopoulo Law Firm online today to request a free consultation with our experienced personal injury attorneys. We can help negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies to assist in getting you the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to.