“Hold hands and look both ways” is one of the first instructions parents teach their youngsters when they first learn to cross the streets in their towns. Indeed, schools also spend time trying to educate students to develop safe habits to avoid dangers such as car accidents. Regardless, there are still many pedestrian versus vehicle collisions everyday throughout the country, including here in Georgia.
The majority of these wrecks are due to the inattention, negligence or other decisions on the part of the drivers. However, one study has seemed to find an increasingly concerning behavior on the part of teenagers. Out of more than 1,000 youths surveyed, close to half claimed that they had either been hit by a vehicle or had a near-miss with one. The blame for some of these accidents can be traced to the apparent inattention of the pedestrian.
Several teens admitted to walking and text messaging at the same time. Others have said that they walk while listening to music through ear pieces. Both of these activities can distract pedestrians and can lead to a serious if not fatal collision with a vehicle. Experts are urging these teens to be aware of their surroundings and to make attempts to make momentary eye contact with drivers before they cross at clearly marked pedestrian crosswalks or signals.
While some teenagers have confessed to being distracted themselves while walking, most pedestrian accidents are not blamed on the victim. The majority of those injured or killed in these types of car accidents were not at fault. Victims who have suffered as a result of this type of accident do have recourse to seek restitution for the monetary damages they may also have sustained by pursuing a personal injury claim in Georgia. In those instances where the accident results in a fatality, a similar right exists for the surviving family to litigate a wrongful death lawsuit against the party or parties believed responsible for the tragedy.
Source: wltz.com, “Sidewalk danger: Distracted teens“, , Oct. 1, 2014