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What You Should Know About Distracted Walking and Car Crash Risks

Posted on in Personal Injury
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DuPage County auto accident lawyer, distracted driving, driver negligence, distracted walking, pedestrian injuriesWhen we think about pedestrians getting hurt in car accidents in Lombard and throughout DuPage County, we often think about negligent automobile drivers and others who are not on foot when the crash occurs. However, sometimes pedestrians can be at least partially to blame for a collision involving distracted walking. We consider the risks of distracted driving with much frequency, and laws are even in place in Illinois to prevent motorists from texting while driving. However, similar laws do not exist to ban texting while walking on city streets, and safety advocates suggest that distracted walking can play a significant role in the rates of motor vehicle collisions involving pedestrian injuries and deaths.

In other words, looking down at your cell phone to text or surf the Internet—or even simply listening to music and avoiding the environment around you—while you are on foot can mean the difference between life and death. Consider the following information provided by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) about distracted walking.

Is Distracted Walking Really a Problem?

A large percentage of Americans (nearly 80 percent) believe that distracted walking is a serious problem and can lead to severe injuries, yet only about 30 percent believe that they have actually engaged in distracted walking behavior. The AAOS emphasizes that distracted walking can indeed lead to preventable accidents and cites the following as examples of distracted walking, all of which could lead to a collision with a motor vehicle:

  • Talking on a cell phone;
  • Engaging in conversation;
  • Listening to music;
  • Using a smartphone to text or to surf the web; and
  • “Zoning out” more generally while walking.

As with distracted driving, physical distractions can play a role in causing accidents. At the same time, similar to distracted driving, even cognitive distractions that do not involve a smartphone can result in an avoidable collision.

What Will Happen If I Am Partially to Blame for My Injuries Because of Distracted Walking?

If a court says that the injuries you sustained in a motor vehicle collision are partly your fault because you were distracted when you were struck by a car, you may still be able to obtain compensation for your losses. Illinois law (735 ILCS 5/2-1116) follows a theory of modified comparative negligence. What this means is that as long as a plaintiff is not 51 percent or more responsible for his or her injuries—in other words, if he or she is not more responsible than the defendant or defendants—then he or she can still recover damages. However, his or her damages award will be reduced by the percentage of his or her own fault.

For instance, if a court says that the plaintiff’s distracted walking makes him or her 20 percent at fault, then his or her damages award will be reduced by 20 percent.

Contact a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer in DuPage County

Getting hurt in a collision with a motor vehicle can be devastating. An experienced DuPage County auto accident lawyer can help you to seek compensation for your losses. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC for more information about how we can assist with your claim.

Sources:

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/staying-healthy/distracted-walking/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073500050K2-1116

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