I came upon some surprising statistics recently: Just as motor vehicle travel is getting safer (for those inside the vehicles), walking is getting more dangerous because motor vehicles are striking and killing more and more pedestrians.
Just look at the statistics: 22 percent fewer traffic fatalities from 2003 to 2012, while pedestrian fatalities have been climbing steadily since 2010. In 2012 alone, the pedestrian fatalities were up 6 percent from the year before. A motor vehicle kills a pedestrian every two hours and injures one every seven minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (“NHTSA”). Fourteen percent of all road fatalities are pedestrians. There are 4,000 to 5,000 pedestrian fatalities per year in the U.S.
Why are pedestrian fatalities up while motor vehicle fatalities are down? No clear answer out there. But I have a theory (are you listening NHTSA?)
In a word (actually two): smart phones. Drivers are using them, and so are pedestrians. More and more pedestrians are “texting while walking” or listening to music with earphones, and are thus unable to hear or see oncoming dangers. Meanwhile, more and more drivers are texting or dialing while driving.
What do you get when a texting driver turns in a busy intersection and meets a texting or dialing pedestrian crossing in a crosswalk? Bang!
Moral of story: Don’t text or phone and drive. If you are a pedestrian, don’t cross a road while texting or talking on the phone. Also, take those ear buds out before you cross.
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you!
Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com Syracuse NY Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.