You see it more and more everyday, people crossing the street while staring at their phones; or plugged in with headphones blasting music. All that technology at our fingertips can be a distraction; even while walking. But who is at fault when a passenger is struck while being distracted by their phones? In most cases, the driver is found to be at fault.
Pedestrians and Their Phones
People today are attached to their cell phones more than ever, even while they are crossing the street. Games, apps, social media, and music are distracting pedestrians while they are busy crossing the street. Auto accidents involving pedestrians crossing the street have tripled in the past 12 years; in part because of smartphones and headphones.
Responsibilities as a Driver
It is generally the driver’s responsibility to look out for pedestrians. You are supposed to yield to pedestrians for their safety. A passenger struck by a car can be severely injured, and even killed.
While the driver is supposed to watch for pedestrians and slow down/stop for them, there is also some responsibility on their part. A pedestrian entering the street should be aware of his/her surroundings.
Distracted Pedestrian Laws
Laws have been popping up across the country to discourage pedestrians from walking while looking down at their phones. While New York has not yet passed one, New Jersey has. “Distracted Pedestrian” laws can be enforced by police officers to give fines and even jail time. But these laws can also be used in court in order to protect the driver in cases of pedestrian traffic collisions.
Know Your Rights
If you or a loved one is injured during the accident with a distracted pedestrian, consider looking towards legal counsel as the next step. Accidents with pedestrians can be more dangerous for the unprotected person walking, and they are more likely to suffer serious, or even fatal, injuries. Sometimes injury occurs or is felt after the accident.
Do not meet with other parties involved in the accident without a lawyer present. Do not sign anything from another party or from that party’s lawyer without discussing it with your legal counsel first.
For over 25 years, D’Agostino & Associates, P.C. has been assisting people in the New York/New Jersey area with injury cases of all shapes and sizes; from auto accidents to worker’s compensation. Bite Back with D’Agostino & Associates, P.C.