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Distractions A Common Cause Of Philadelphia Pedestrian Accidents

With increasing regularity, pedestrians are crossing roadways while focusing their senses on texting, talking on the phone, listening to music or being otherwise distracted by their personal technology, and the trend is having a noticeable impact on the pedestrian accidents being seen in Philadelphia and nationally.

According to a recent study, more than 26 percent of pedestrians used electronic devices when passing through intersections were pedestrians had been struck by vehicles in the past.

Even worse, people texting were four times less likely than other pedestrians to follow safety rules. The study offers further explanation as to why pedestrian accidents and fatalities are on the uptick across the country even while roadway accidents and deaths are reaching historic lows.

The results of the study confirm what past research has suggested, and it’s nothing earth-shattering: Walking while distracted, and in particular crossing the street, can be a very dangerous move. But the challenge in addressing this issue isn’t determining why it’s happening, but rather convincing the general public to understand these dangers and change their behaviors.

According to emergency room data, injuries involving pedestrians using cell phones increased every year between 2005 and 2010.

One factor experts believe can help in changing these behaviors is convincing parents to employ model behavior for their children. Kids are less likely to engage in such distractions if they don’t see their parents doing the same, according to research.

While adults were the primary offenders in the research study, kids and teens are growing up in a world where distractions are the norm, and that could perpetuate dangerous attitudes about these distractions if action isn’t taken.

Source: USA TODAY, “Texting, music put distracted pedestrians at risk,” Kim Painter, Dec. 13, 2012