As the smart phone continues to evolve, so does the definition of mobility. What once required an Internet connection and a laptop now only commands the all-consuming hand held that is conveniently stored in the pockets of just about every pedestrian in every city.
While information on the go has certainly expedited many business ventures and simplified life for many people, it’s beginning to overshadow safety on many levels. If you or someone you know has been hurt as a result of a pedestrian texting accident, you need to get in touch with an accident lawyer immediately. As this is a new and evolving issue, the right attorney is crucial to ensure you get the recovery compensation you deserve.
The Government Proposes Safety Action
Recently, New Jersey Democratic assembly-woman, Pamela R. Lampitt proposed a bill to literally curb the safety issues associated with those consumed with texting and walking—now called “petextrians”.
Lampitt has proposed a $50 fine and/or 15 days in jail for citizens who are texting and walking on public sidewalks or roadways. Her reasoning is quite sound. She claims, “An individual crossing the road distracted by their smartphone presents just as much danger to motorists as someone jaywalking and should be held, at minimum, to the same penalty.”
While Lampitt is not hopeful that her proposal will be backed or supported, she does feel that at the very least she is raising awareness about the problem. By doing so, she is protecting innocent people—both drivers, and other pedestrians—who can fall victim to the negligence displayed by those petextrians who are too engrossed to look up from their phones.
The Startling Statistics
The Governors Highway Safety Association has determined that the number of deaths directly related to people texting and walking has drastically increased. In fact, it has nearly tripled between the years 2004 through 2010. Additionally, the association reports close to 2 million people have been injured by the same group of inattentive texters.
Furthermore, between the years 2009 and 2013, this same group of careless cell phone addicts have contributed to the increase of pedestrian fatalities at an increased rate of 15%.
What that means to you as a citizen who uses the street is an increased risk of an accident simply walking downtown. Should you become of a victim of one of these chronic hand held users, you need appropriate representation to see to it they are held accountable for their inattentive behavior.
The Alarming Accidents
As the petextrian problem continues to grow, more and more incidents are being reported. These incidents range from minor bruises suffered by the inattentive millennial too consumed by their devices to the deaths of drivers who try to avoid hitting careless hand held users who accidently stroll into busy traffic.
A minor accident occurred near Philadelphia, in Reading, PA, at the Berkshire Mall. A young girl, clearly not paying attention to her surroundings, was so engrossed in her digital world that she walked right into a mall fountain. Unlike many other incidents, this young lady walked away unharmed.
On a more extreme note, a woman in Michigan accidently fell off a pier while using her smart phone to change the time of an appointment. She too walked away safe, but this is only because she was rescued by a bystander.
The most life-threatening incidents come as a result of petextrians ignoring traffic signals and walking out into traffic. These episodes harm both pedestrians and drivers alike.
Because there are no laws regulating pedestrians’ digital habits, it’s important that anyone who is harmed as a result of digital distraction reach out to an accident lawyer. You will need someone to ensure you get the necessary support you need to recover from any physical or mental damage you sustain as a result of someone else’s technology addiction.
What is Philadelphia doing to protect its pedestrians?
Unlike many cities in the United States, Philadelphia has set out to raise awareness of the problems that come as a result of preoccupied pedestrians. The city’s recent launch of the “Road Safety, Not Rocket Science” is aimed at advising those walking on the city’s roadways and sidewalks to “pick your head up, put your phone down”.
What is being done elsewhere that Philadelphia can learn from?
Similar to Philadelphia, Augsburg, a city in Germany, saw the need to protect its petextrians. Unlike cities in the United States that wish to impose sanctions on this millennial mindset, Augsburg found that investing in safety features to save innocent lives is money well spent.
Instead of using tax payer funds to levy regulations, Augsburg leaders felt that investing in safeguards would better serve its citizens. This mindset was triggered by the loss of a 15-year-old girl who walked out in front of a tram while texting.
The city’s solution to prevent another casualty was to embed traffic lights in the sidewalk so that petextrians can see when they are coming to a cross walk. A spokeswoman for the city claimed, the lights brought about, “a whole new level of attention”. Simply put, they can alert pedestrians to stop before entering traffic and causing an accident.
Technology has without a doubt simplified life. But, as it continues to become smaller and more portable, the problems that it creates become much bigger and more comprehensive. Business transactions and communication done efficiently and effectively certainly do increase the quality of life for many. But, when this hurry-up lifestyle results in physical peril for citizens, it’s time to reconsider the cost of convenience.
This is why if you or someone you know has be harmed as a result of petextrians, you need to contact an accident lawyer immediately. Let the attorney determine the extent of the damage someone’s negligence has caused you. Do not try to handle your accident on your own. Reach out to an expert today. You cannot afford wait. You shouldn’t suffer a lifetime of hardships because someone needed to answer a text or an email right away.