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Distracted pedestrians are being hit more often

Distracted driving has gotten a ton of press lately, especially when drivers are distracted because they are talking or texting on their phones. However, research shows that pedestrians are also distracted as well, at an ever-increasing rate.

Back in 2005, just 256 people ended up in the emergency room because they had been hit while they were walking and talking on their phones. By 2007, that number was all the way up to 597. Just a few years later, in 2010, it had reached an incredible 1,506.

Does this mean that pedestrians are always at fault in these accidents? It does not. It just means that they are distracted. The fault could still entirely lie with the driver behind the wheel.

For instance, a pedestrian may get to a crosswalk where he or she has the right of way and just walk out into the street without looking both ways, instead looking at the walk symbol straight ahead while talking on the phone -- and blocking half of his or her field of vision with a hand. Other pedestrians who are paying attention may see a car running the red light and stop or hurry out of the way, while that pedestrian could be hit.

When walking, it's always best to be defensive and to keep one's head on a swivel. However, the use of phones and mobile devices is limiting how often people do this.

Remember, even if you were on your phone when you were hit, you may still have a right to compensation if the driver was the one who caused the crash in Wisconsin.

Source: Ohio State, "Research and Innovation Communications," Jeff Grabmeier, accessed June 29, 2015

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