Yesterday I wrote about the dangers of driving while distracted. However, there is also danger in walking while distracted, too. It might sound ridiculous, but one study found that the number of pedestrians injured in traffic accidents has tripled over the past six years because more people are busy listening to their headphones or using their cellphone to notice what's going on around them.
Dr. Richard Lichenstein and his colleagues at the University of Maryland School of Medicine conducted a study of 2004-2011 reports from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, Westlaw Campus Research databases and Google News Archives to find traffic accidents in which pedestrians were injured or killed while using an electronic device while walking. After reviewing a total of 116 cases, the researchers found that 68% of pedestrians killed in technology-related traffic accidents were male and 67% were under the age of 30.
Traffic accidents didn't just involve cars, however. In 55% of the cases, pedestrians were killed or injured by a train. Furthermore, in 29% of the cases drivers attempted to warn the pedestrian by honking the horn or making some other noise, but were unable to get their attention because of headphones. The study, which was published in a recent issue of Injury Prevention, warns pedestrians of the "unintentional blindness" that walking while distracted causes. Specifically, pedestrians that are listening to music on their headphones literally have fewer resources in the brain to devote to other external stimuli, in addition to being unable to hear warning sounds such as a horn beeping.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.