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Pedestrian Texting is Becoming an Increasing Problem

When a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, the person on foot generally fares far worse than the person behind the wheel. While pedestrians have the right of way, that doesn't mean that drivers will give it to them. Too often, drivers don't see a pedestrian until it's too late.

That's why pedestrians need to be extremely cautious. Unfortunately, too many pedestrians, like drivers, are distracted by electronics. Their iPods can prevent them from hearing oncoming cars. Phones, in particular, can cause a dangerous distraction. How many of us have seen someone walking briskly down the sidewalk towards us absorbed in a phone conversation or reading or tapping into their phone and had to step around them to avoid being hit?

Texting while walking can have far more serious consequences when a pedestrian is crossing the street. However, too many people do it. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, approximately 40 percent of teens have been struck or nearly struck by a vehicle while texting as they walked.

You don't have to be hit by a car to be injured seriously enough to have to go to the hospital. Have you ever walked into a street sign, fallen into a hole in the sidewalk or ended up in a fountain because you were looking at your phone? It's not pleasant. Between 2005 and 2010, the number of people who went to the emergency room for injuries related to "distracted walking" doubled.

The problem of texting pedestrians has become so serious that legislators in some states, including Nevada, have introduced legislation that would allow law enforcement officers to ticket those caught doing it.

We live in a world where we're constantly multi-tasking. However, pedestrians, like drivers, need to keep their focus on where they're going -- particularly when they're sharing the road with drivers or even near a roadway.

You may be able to hold a driver who hits you liable for his or her actions. However, why risk serious injury or worse? Just wait until you get to your destination before you deal with any sort or communication on your phone or at least "pull over," as it were, to a safe spot to deal with a message.

Source: esurance.com, "4 Reasons to Quit Texting While Walking," Lauren Wilbanks, June 30, 2016

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