19 Oct

The Dangers of Texting While Walking in New Jersey

As an personal injury attorney with a main office in Jersey City, New Jersey who handles many car accident cases, I have blogged before about the dangers of texting while driving and how it causes a lot of car accidents here in New Jersey.

However, I read an interesting article in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine. It talked about the dangers of texting while walking! Researchers have shown by experiments that people basically can’t walk a straight line while texting. Texting significantly distorted pedestrians gait and walking form whether they intended to or not. They contorted their necks and altered their walking pattern. Their rigid pattern increased the likelihood that they would trip or walk into traffic. Combine people texting while walking and motorists texting while driving you get an incredibly dangerous combination.

According to stats from the Federal Communications Commission:

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2010 driver distraction was the cause of 18 percent of all fatal crashes – with 3,092 people killed – and crashes resulting in an injury – with 416,000 people wounded.
  • Forty percent of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger, according to a Pew survey.
  • The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.
  • Eleven percent of drivers aged 18 to 20 who were involved in an automobile accident and survived admitted they were sending or receiving texts when they crashed.

The dangers to people driving on our highways (The New Jersey Turnpike, The Garden State Parkway, etc) can’t be overstated. It’s even more dangerous for pedestrians trying to cross places like Kennedy Boulevard and Palisades Avenue. I think I am going to start putting my cell phone in my glove compartment when I drive. I can still take or make a call via Bluetooth, but I would not be able to send or receive a text if I wanted to.

John Burke

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