A 21-year-old Michigan resident was killed recently when her Ford Fusion was hit by a pickup truck. According to Click On Detroit, Michigan State Police believe that the pickup driver may have been both drinking and on his cell phone when his vehicle crossed the center line.
Distracted driving is unquestionably dangerous behavior, with Distraction.gov reporting that reaching for a phone, texting or dialing can make a motorist three times as likely to become involved in a collision. Many prevention campaigns aim to stop distracted driving behavior to reduce the risk of collisions. Unfortunately, there is also another danger that increase the chances of a collision: distracted walking. Studies have shown that distracted walking may be just as dangerous as driving while distracted. Pedestrians injured in a distracted walking accident should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Detroit for assistance, as they may still be entitled to compensation for injuries if a driver was involved in the crash.
Distracted Pedestrians at Risk of Injury
According to Science Daily, around 10 percent of pedestrian visits to emergency rooms each year involve texting and walking. The number of people involved in texting accidents may be even higher than official numbers suggest since some people may be embarrassed to report that they were texting at the time of an injury incident.
Pedestrians face three different types of distraction when texting: manual, visual and cognitive. They are focused on looking at and manipulating the phone, and their brain's focus is on the text they are sending rather than on the path in front of them. As a result, this can lead to pedestrians stepping into traffic, falling down stairs, bumping into walls and tripping over clutter. The problem is so bad that one street in London placed bumpers on light posts to stop texting walkers from slamming into the posts as they walked.
The problem of texting and walking accidents has increased dramatically in recent years. Between 2004 and 2010, the number of pedestrian ER visits related to cell phone injuries tripled according to Healthline. Adults under the age of 30 are at the greatest risk of this type of injury.
When a pedestrian steps into traffic when texting, the pedestrian could still recover compensation from a driver who strikes him. Michigan uses comparative fault rules to determine who is responsible for motor vehicle collision injuries.
Under the state's modified comparative fault rule, a pedestrian can recover compensation for an accident as long as the other party was 51 percent or more responsible. This means that even if a pedestrian was not being safe because he was texting, a driver could still be required to compensate him for collision injuries. The plaintiff's recovery of monetary damages would be reduced by whatever percentage of the blame was attributed to his own behavior.
To stay safe, pedestrians need to avoid texting as they walk and focus on what is around and in front of them. Drivers also need to be aware of the potential for texting pedestrians and need to keep a careful eye on the road and remain focused at all times to avoid a pedestrian collision.
A Detroit accident lawyer can help victims. Contact Fraser & Souweidane P.C. at (866) 465-9095 to schedule a free consultation.