Kentucky drivers have likely heard about distracted driving and the dangers that go with it. What many are unaware of is that distracted walking has become a serious problem and few states have addressed the issues of distracted walking like they have those of driving.
According to the National Safety Council, in 2017, close to 6,000 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents. It is not just kids that are vulnerable, but all ages are susceptible to injury and even death when they are not paying attention to where they are going.
Safety.com points out the fact that pedestrian deaths began increasing in 2009 and although there is no solid data linking this number to cell phones, all signs point to technology leading to distracted walking. Checking text messages or email or even talking on the phone can distract a walker and lead to everything from a small concussion to a spinal cord or brain injury.
Pedestrians can stay safe by following a few simple rules. Whenever possible, they should walk on the sidewalk and face traffic. Always follow traffic signals and signs and other rules of the road. Cross only at crosswalks or a place where they can directly see oncoming traffic. They can stay alert and avoid wearing earbuds or using a cell phone when walking. Even drug and alcohol use can put a pedestrian in danger if they choose to walk home.
Walkers should wear reflective or bright clothing and carry a flashlight when out at night. Parking lots can be especially dangerous so pedestrians should be extremely aware in these areas. Finally, all children younger than 10 years old should be with an adult any time they are crossing the street.