Gone are the days when people would look left and right before crossing. A study on pedestrian distractions has shown that people who text while walking are more likely to cross the street in an unsafe manner. Listening to music, talking on the phone or talking to people while walking is also distracting but to a lesser extent.
How does distracted walking lead to accidents?
People multitasking on the street are typically unaware of their surroundings. They tend to walk slower and cannot properly gauge the distance between them and other objects. Not paying attention makes it easier to trip, fall into something or bump into someone and then sustain injuries.
Some people only pick up a few bruises after a slip and fall, but others incur serious injuries that require medical attention. If only the property owner is at fault, the person who was hurt might be able to file a personal injury claim and fully recover the cost of their treatment.
However, if the injured person fell due to their lack of attention, Kentucky’s comparative negligence rule will reduce the damages they recover in proportion to their fault.
Although it is unclear how often distracted walking causes pedestrian accidents, actively paying attention would significantly reduce the risk. There are still many distracted drivers on the road. Compared to a texting pedestrian, a pedestrian who looks where they are going has a higher chance of evading the driver or collecting damages.
It is true that inattentive drivers pose a higher threat than pedestrians who are multitasking. However, this does not mean that individuals may act recklessly out on the street. Every individual still has a duty of care to keep themselves and others safe from harm.