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Driver and pedestrian distraction causing increase in fatalities

In California and the rest of the U.S., pedestrian fatalities have sharply increased over the past decade even though cars have become safer. Experts attribute this increase in pedestrian deaths to the problem of driver distraction.

According to the Detroit Free Press, pedestrian deaths have increased by 46 percent while overall traffic fatalities have increased by 11 percent since 2009. From 2010 to 2016, the use of cell phones increased by 236 percent. People are often distracted by their smartphones while they are driving. When they take their eyes and attention away from the act of driving, the drivers may cause traffic accidents, including pedestrian crashes.

In addition to cell phone use, other systems that are contained in newer cars may also be distracting. People may take their eyes and hands off of the wheel to manipulate electronics or to read the information on their vehicles' infotainment screens. Pedestrians may also cause their own accidents. If they are talking on their smartphones or looking at them while they are walking, they might step out into traffic. Between 2007 and 2016, emergency department visits that were related to cell phone use increased by 83.5 percent. The first iPhone was introduced in 2007.

The increase in fatal pedestrian accidents may be largely caused by distraction by both drivers and pedestrians. People should make certain that they stay off of their cell phones when they are behind the wheel. Pedestrians would also do well to watch for oncoming vehicles and cross the roads when it is safe at intersections or in crosswalks. When distracted drivers are to blame for pedestrian accidents, the victims might want to consult with personal injury lawyers. The attorneys may analyze the facts of what happened and offer honest assessments of the potential claims. If they agree to accept the cases, they may work to recover fair compensation for their clients.

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