Recent Pew Research Center figures show that nearly two thirds of Americans own a smartphone – in fact, you may even be reading this entry on your own hand-held device. The convenience of these instruments is indisputable, but as with anything else, there are definite safety issues to consider.
Using Hand Held Devices While Driving
Many states – New York included – prohibit the use of hand-held devices while driving. It is illegal for a driver to use a hand-held phone, not only to talk, but also to text. There is a lot of literature regarding the dangers of texting while driving, and the increased likelihood of accident involvement when one does so (and that includes accessing the internet while driving, or even reading a text). Texting while driving is now a primary offense in New York, which means that a driver can be stopped for that offense alone.
But most people already know that. That is why this column is devoted to smartphone safety issues while walking.
Using Hand Held Devices While Walking
If you walk down any sidewalk, there’s a good chance that a large percentage of people will be walking and either texting, or at least looking down at their phones. That dangerous conduct is not limited to just walking on a sidewalk. Pedestrians can be seen walking across the street – not necessarily in a crosswalk, which is its own issue – or entering or leaving a bus or train, or walking in an indoor shopping mall.
The above, well-publicized video is of a woman walking while texting in a mall, who literally fell in to a fountain. A news story associated with that video claimed that that woman was a mall employee. The point is that someone who was presumably more familiar than most with the layout of the mall was nevertheless distracted enough to walk right into the fountain. There are other examples, of a woman walking off a pier into Lake Michigan; pedestrians walking into walls, and even ditches; and a man who almost collided with a black bear which was walking down a sidewalk. There are stories of pedestrians walking into moving vehicles, with dire consequences.
Some of the videos are humorous, but that is because the only thing hurt was the person’s pride. Research reveals that other people have been seriously injured. The obvious message is to walk – don’t talk, and don’t text. It’s just not that important, and it can certainly wait. If it can’t wait, stop, and send or read your texts, and then continue on.
There are also reports of people who have suffered injuries as a result of other people texting while walking. You can be “rear-ended” by a pedestrian just as easily as by a moving vehicle.
Injured By Someone Distracted by Using Their Smartphone?
There are steps you can take to help prove a case if you’re injured as a result of someone using their smartphone. If you’re in a motor vehicle accident, consider whether the person who struck you was using their phone. If you didn’t notice, perhaps someone else in your vehicle did. Cell phone records are discoverable if there is an indication that a driver was using a phone while driving. Those records are also discoverable if a pedestrian struck you while texting. Always try to determine whether smartphone use was involved if you are the victim of an accident.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Contact the White Plains accident attorneys at Worby Vecchio Edelman if you or a loved one are injured as a result of smartphone use, or in any other type of accident. We’ll explain your rights, and answer all of your questions. If a case can be brought for damages, we’ll process the paperwork quickly, and move your case along to settlement or trial. There’s never a fee unless we recover money on your case.