Is Smartphone Use Threatening the Lives of Pedestrians?
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) recently released a report with troubling information for pedestrians – the number of pedestrian deaths due to traffic accidents in 2018 is expected to be the highest since 1990 in the United States. What has caused pedestrian fatalities to rise higher than they have been in nearly 30 years? While there is no one definitive answer, the GHSA study theorizes that smartphones play an important – and deadly – role.
Distracted Driving and Pedestrians
The number of smartphones used by people in the U.S. has multiplied about five times since 2010, with an increase of 4000 percent of the wireless data being used. With more and more people using their smartphones more each day, the chances that drivers are also using smartphones with increasing frequency is high.
Survey results released by AAA last year show that while the use of smartphones is on the rise, so is the fear of distracted drivers. The survey indicated the following:
- From 2013 to 2018, the number of people who said they talked on a smartphone while driving “fairly often” rose by 46 percent
- 49 percent of drivers admitted they used a hand-held smartphone to talk while driving
- 35 percent of drivers reported they sent an email or text while driving
- Drivers who use the phone to talk are about four times more likely to crash into another car or a pedestrian
- Drivers who use the phone to text are about eight times more likely to crash into another car or a pedestrian
- 88 percent of drivers think distracted driving is a bigger threat on the roads than aggressive driving, drugged driving, or drunk driving
The GHSA report does acknowledge there is no way to definitively blame smartphones and distracted driving for the rise in pedestrian traffic deaths. This is because it can be difficult to identify whether a moment of distraction was the actual cause of particular accidents. Unless the driver admits to using a smartphone – which they are unlikely to do – you can only infer that their dangerous driving behaviors resulted from distracted driving.
Proving the Liability of Distracted Drivers
There are ways that an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can prove that a distracted driver caused an accident. Perhaps a witness saw the driver looking down at their phone. The driver may also have posted on social media in the seconds prior to the crash. We can also focus on the unlawful behaviors of the driver instead of trying to specifically show they were distracted. Common behaviors that cause pedestrian accidents include:
- Failing to yield for pedestrians in crosswalks
- Running traffic signals or stop signs
- Leaving a lane and hitting a pedestrian on the shoulder or sidewalk
Contact Our Salina Pedestrian Injury Attorneys for Free Today
At Neustrom & Associates, we work to make sure that victims of pedestrian accidents receive the full compensation they deserve from negligent drivers. If you suffered injuries, please contact us online or call 785.825.1505 for a free case evaluation.