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Attentive Drivers vs. Distracted Pedestrians: Who’s at Fault?

Many car accidents are caused by distractions. When people think of distractions, they tend to think of drivers who are texting, reading, applying makeup or eating. Distracted drivers are the ones who get a bad reputation, but pedestrians can be just as bad. More and more pedestrians are becoming injured by distractions such as listening to music, talking on phones and texting while walking. Most injuries are caused by talking on the phone and walking.

Thousands of pedestrians are killed in accidents every year. It is unknown how many crashes are caused by pedestrians, but in 2008, more than 1,000 people were injured by walking and texting. Pedestrian deaths have increased every year since then. To cut down on injuries and deaths, many cities have taken action to reduce them by fining offenders.

Why Distracted Pedestrians Are Dangerous

Talking on a phone while walking may seem harmless, but it’s more dangerous than people realize. This practice is disruptive because the human brain is designed to focus on one task at a time. When you try to multitask, you may disrupt your memory recall and your gait. This is called inattentive blindness.

When pedestrians are focused on their phones, they are often oblivious to their surroundings. This means they may bump into other people, run into buildings, trip and fall over debris, and walk into the roadway into the path of a vehicle. They may suffer broken bones, concussions, bruises, cuts, spinal cord injuries and brain injuries. Sometimes these accidents even lead to death.

A distracted pedestrian can make an intersection dangerous. Distractions cause delays, which means that pedestrians are not making it across the street in time. This can cause confusion for motorists, who are trying to turn or proceed straight ahead.

Liability Issues

Liability for accidents is based on negligence. This means that both motorists or pedestrians can be negligent for their actions on the roadway. People tend to focus on distracted driving, but distracted walking is also a major issue that leads to crashes. Those who walk while distracted can be held liable for their injuries.

Everyone who uses the roadway must exercise due care. While drivers must be careful around intersections, sometimes crashes involving pedestrians are unavoidable if the pedestrian is acting in a reckless manner. If a pedestrian causes an accident with a motorist, the pedestrian can be held liable for any damages. Therefore, an attentive motorist may not be responsible for an accident with a distracted pedestrian.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Miami, Florida

In the past, it was believed that pedestrians were never at fault for their accidents. However, with cell phone use rampant, even pedestrians can be distracted. Their negligence can cause them to be responsible for their own accidents.

If you were involved in a pedestrian accident, the team at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum, LLP is here to help you with your case. Our experienced Miami personal injury attorneys can help you determine your rights to compensation. Contact our team at (305) 371-2692 or visit us online.