New Jersey Legislators Want to Ban Texting and Walking

We all know the dangers of texting and driving. And, to mitigate the problem, many states throughout the nation have passed laws that prohibit drivers from using their phones while behind the wheel. But what about texting and walking?

Studies show that strolling with your eyes down is just as dangerous as is operating a car with a cellphone in hand. To remedy the issue, some legislators in New Jersey are trying to pass a bill that would fine pedestrians who use their phones while they walk.

The Legislation

According to an article on Fortune.com, the bill, proposed by Democrat Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, aims to reduce the rising number of accidents caused by texting and walking. Fortune shares that the number of injuries to pedestrians doubled between 2005 and 2010.

If the law passes, pedestrians who are using their smartphones – eyes down – while walking will be subject to a fine.

The Dangerous of Distracted Walking

The legislation makes sense; walking while distracted is incredibly dangerous. The Ohio State University conducted a study in 2010 about the dangers of using a cellphone while walking, and found that in that year, more than 1,500 Ohio pedestrians received emergency treatment for injuries related to distracted walking.

In fact, research, discussed in the Ohio State study, that examined the relationship between traffic crashes and cellphone use found that the number of cellphone crash-related injuries is probably about 1,300 times higher than estimated.

Walking while distracted is dangerous for three key reasons:

  • It obstructs a pedestrian’s sight: A pedestrian with her eyes down may not see an oncoming car.
  • It takes a pedestrian’s mind off her surroundings: A pedestrian who is focused on a text may not think about looking before crossing the street.
  • It impedes her ability to hear: A pedestrian with ear buds in may fail to hear an approaching vehicle.

This, in combination with other common distractions for pedestrians, can be deadly.

What to Do after a Pedestrian Accident

Preventing pedestrian accidents from occurring is not just the job of drivers, but the job of pedestrians, too. However, even the safest of pedestrians sometimes sustain injuries in accidents caused by distracted and negligent drivers. When another driver causes your injuries, you may be eligible to file a claim to recover damages for your losses.

To learn more about your rights after a car accident and how a pedestrian accident attorney can help, contact the team at Cordisco & Saile LLC at 215-791-8911. Our pedestrian accident attorneys will guide you through the process of getting the money you deserve.