Is It Time to Shift Some of Our Attention to Distracted Cycling and Walking?


May 21, 2014

While distracted driving accounts for many traffic accidents, a growing number of motor vehicle collisions involve bicyclists and pedestrians that are not paying attention to the roadway or oncoming traffic. Joggers listening to ear buds; businessman reading email on their mobile phone or iPad; and pedestrians texting while walking their dogs present an increasing risk of being involved in serious car accidents. Distracted driving accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians are especially dangerous because pedestrians lack the standard protections available to occupants of passenger vehicles, such as the body of a car, air bags and seat belts.

Although the number of people who die in motor vehicle accident has fallen in recent years, the opposite trend has emerged for pedestrians and bicyclists. During a recent twelve month period, the U.S. saw a three percent increase in fatal pedestrian accidents and an eight percent increase in fatal bicycle accidents despite a two percent overall decline in traffic-related fatalities according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

While many people are aware of attempts at the federal and state level to crackdown on drivers distracted by cell phones, there is an emerging trend among several states to pass legislation that targets inattentive pedestrians. In many states, distracted driving laws aimed at cars, trucks and SUVs also apply to bicyclists, but there also is a new focus on preventing pedestrian-car crashes caused by distracted pedestrians. One state imposes a fine on those who are caught walking while multi-tasking. Other states are considering similar legislation to prevent car accidents caused by those who are distracted while walking.

Common examples of distractions that may cause a pedestrian collision with a passenger vehicle include:

• Text messaging on a cell phone
• Talking on a mobile phone
• Reading an eBook
• Listening to music on ear buds
• Engaging in a conversation while walking with a companion
• Surfing the web on a portable electronic communication device
• Reading a book, newspaper or magazine

Because pedestrian accidents are especially likely to result in severe injuries that have a permanent impact on a pedestrian accident victim's quality of life, efforts to curb the practice of distracted walking are important to prevent catastrophic life-altering injuries and wrongful death. Our Atlanta car accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates understand the enormous physical, emotional and financial toll inflicted on Georgia pedestrians when accident victims suffer traumatic brain injuries, loss of a limb, endure a spinal cord injury or experience other permanent injuries.

Put Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Legal Experience to Work For You

If you or someone close to you has been involved in a collision while riding a bike or walking, Montlick and Associates has been representing pedestrian accident and bicycle accident victims for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast, including but not limited to all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.