Distracted driving has always been a problem, but not as much as it appears to be these days. Smart phones have provided numerous benefits to those who use them, but they also serve as dangerous distractions on the roadways. Colorado residents may not realize that it is not just the drivers getting distracted by their phones, but pedestrians as well. When distracted drivers and distracted walkers share the roadways, the results could easily be devastating pedestrian accidents.
In fact, in 2016, the number of pedestrian fatalities jumped 11 percent from 2015. This may not seem like a lot, but in real numbers, that means that 6,000 people died in vehicle versus pedestrian accidents last year. The overall number of traffic fatalities "only" rose 6 percent last year by comparison. That means that more pedestrians are dying, and researchers believe they know why.
More people are walking with their heads down and looking at their phones. Some may even have earbuds in, which means they may not even be able to hear what is going on around them. Both their hearing and sight are compromised, and they may not be aware of an imminent danger from a driver who is also not paying proper attention to the road.
Colorado's pedestrians do need to pay attention to their surroundings, but drivers owe a duty to everyone, including those on foot, to drive safely and remain focused on the task at hand. When a distracted driver fails to do so, it could result in vehicle versus pedestrian accidents that cause severe injuries or death. Under these circumstances a victim, or the family of a victim who died, may be able to recover restitution for financial losses associated with such tragedies.
Source: npr.org, "Distraction, On Street And Sidewalk, Helps Cause Record Pedestrian Deaths", David Schaper, Accessed on Sept. 16, 2017