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What Are the Dangers of Distracted Walking?

Posted in Pedestrian Accidents on February 19, 2018

Most people are aware of the dangers of distracted driving. However, walking while distracted can be just as dangerous at the wrong time or place. In San Antonio, the attorneys of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C., want to help you avoid accident and injury by making you aware of the dangers of distracted walking.

Dangers in the Path

Whether you are texting a friend, checking email, surfing social media, or selecting the next song to play as you walk, using a mobile device while walking takes your concentration away from what is coming up in front of you. A common hazard you would easily avoid may surprise you and cause you to have an accident while walking. An uneven section of sidewalk, a limb in your path, or a small toy left unattended may cause you to trip when you fail to notice the obstacle in your path. Tripping over a hazard can result in falls that cause broken bones, back or neck injuries, or even concussion or other head trauma. Focusing on your mobile device while walking can cause a failure to yield to bigger hazards, too, resulting in serious injuries or even death. The most obvious concern is that you may inadvertently step in front of a vehicle that does not have the ability to stop before striking you. When a car collides with a pedestrian, the pedestrian is likely to suffer severe injury. Other hazards from stepping onto the road may be failing to notice you are stepping off a curb, leading to sprained ankles from the awkward step, or falling into the street.

Injuries to Others

Distracted walking is not only a danger to you but also to those around you. Bumping into another pedestrian could cause him or her – or you – to stumble and fall, possibly resulting in injury to one or both of you. If you were to step in front of a vehicle in the street, the driver may swerve to avoid hitting you, causing a collision with a parked or moving vehicle. This can result in thousands of dollars of damage or injury to the drivers and passengers. By walking safely, you protect yourself, other pedestrians, and those in the cars around you.

Helpful Tips to Avoid Distracted Walking

There is certainly no harm in checking your phone while you are out for a walk. However, to get the most out of your time on foot and avoid injury, it is a good idea to follow some common-sense tips to avoid distracted walking. Step out of the way of other pedestrians or cars, and stop walking before checking your phone. A phone call or text can wait the few moments necessary to find a safe place to stop and focus on the notification or phone call. Consider using your phone’s silent or do not disturb feature while walking. In today’s culture, we tend to respond as soon as our devices notify us that we have an incoming message or phone call. By simply silencing those notifications, you can avoid a surprise distraction and focus on where you are walking. One smart way to stay safe is to plan your music ahead of time and listen to it at a moderate volume. A lengthy playlist that doesn’t require your constant attention between songs can help you avoid checking your device often during your walk. Ensure that you are still able to clearly hear what is going on around you by keeping the volume of anything you are listening to low enough to allow ambient sounds to reach you. Protect yourself and others from injury by avoiding the dangers of distracted walking and keeping your attention fixed on the path ahead.