Anyone that has voyaged onto public streets on foot, has probably witnessed a driver using his or her cell phone while driving. The driver may have been sitting at a street light or actually in motion when using his or her cellular device. Either way, this behavior is dangerous as those traveling on foot can be vulnerable to getting hit. Perhaps more than any other generation, the people of today’s society are attached to their cell phones in a way that has never been seen before. Here we have delved further into this link between cell phone driving use, and how this may contribute to incidents of pedestrian accidents.
Q: Why are people so compelled to use their phone while driving?
A: It can be difficult to understand why exactly a driver may be taking his or her eyes off the road to use a small, handheld cellular telephone. Let’s think about how current cell phones are made; we are able to not only make a phone call, but send a written message, check emails, pay bills, share our life through social media, order food delivery, listen to music, take photographs, and play video games all from this petit computer device.
There are so many opportunities for us to communicate with others, uphold responsibilities, and even feed ourselves through utilizing the cell phone. With so much of our life on this device, it may be hard to tear ourselves away from it for even a few minutes while behind the wheel. While an addiction to cell phone use is no excuse, it may be the root of why driving while using it has become such an issue in our American culture.
Q: So how does this impact pedestrians?
A: As you can imagine, taking our eyes away from the road to check a text, voicemail or other alert can be enough time to not see a pedestrian crossing ahead. Because more drivers are distracted and not alert to surroundings, it means pedestrians are not as often readily seen. Pedestrians may not have ever relied on vehicle drivers to see them crossing, but the importance of looking before proceeding has probably never been as critical as it is now.
Q: What if I got hit by a driver, what can I do?
A: If you are hit by a car as a pedestrian, call 9-1-1 without hesitation. The driver may try to convince you to not call law enforcement, but this may only be a tactic to elude responsibility for what just happened. Even if it was a minor impact, you may still want to get looked at by an ambulance team at the scene. Being hit by a car may lead to a state of panic, causing a surge of adrenaline throughout in our system. Adrenaline can be helpful in emergency situations, but the downfall is this may disguise the extent of our injuries until a later time.