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Electronics Causing Pedestrian Accidents in Massachusetts?

You can’t rely on drivers. The truth of the matter is that defensive walking habits may be your best bet in staying out of a potentially fatal accident, especially if you’re walking near vehicular traffic.

Just as we stress the importance of paying attention behind the wheel, it’s equally important to pay attention to your surroundings when you’re walking around town. According to safety officials, it’s a growing problem and it’s putting far too many people at unnecessary and preventable risks.

We are talking about distracted walking.
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According to USA TODAY, the number of people who landed in an emergency room after being involved in an accident while engaging in distractions has quadrupled over the last seven years. Unfortunately, these hospital reports are some of the only records. Transportation officials don’t keep stats on distracted walking accidents in Boston and elsewhere and therefor have no idea how serious the problem really is.

“With the smartphone technology these days and everything at your fingertips, it’s almost getting to be an obsession or a compulsion with people,” said Jim Fox, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s director of system safety and risk management.

According to what we do know, there were nearly 1,200 people who were treated in an emergency room because they suffered injuries from walking while engaging in an electronic distraction. Unfortunately, this is a statistics that officials think is actually much higher, saying that in most cases distractions are never reported by the victim.

Risks for pedestrians all around are getting worse. In 2010, the number of pedestrian fatalities increased by more than 4 percent and the number on injuries rose by nearly 20 percent. These numbers are only expected to increase more. Travelers beware!

Recent psychological studies show that most people aren’t able to focus on more than one thing at a time. When someone tries, their attention shifts back and forth from each activity and performance suffers. But just like drivers, pedestrians think that they’re safe to do both at once. When this happens, walkers can’t effectively keep their eye on the traffic and other surrounding hazards, leaving them an open target for an accident.

Just take a look at the recent headlines. Pedestrians are falling off curbs, they’re walking into fountains and they’re slamming into poles. You’re urged to keep an eye on your surroundings. Lookout for nearby motor vehicle traffic. By practicing safe and defensive walking habits and by staying one step ahead of the traffic around you, you can help to keep yourself out of a potentially fatal accident.

This is especially important in areas like Boston. In areas where pedestrians are likely to be found, so are the risks for these kinds of accidents.

If you’ve been in a Boston pedestrian accident, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your cases. Call 877-617-5333.

More Blog Entries:

Man Fights for Life after Chelsea Pedestrian Accident, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, May 16, 2012

Framingham Accident Kills Man Taking Out the Garbage, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, April 30, 2012