Remember this video of the woman who fell into a fountain while texting that went viral a couple of years ago?
Although humorous, in interviews after the video became popular, she later reminded viewers about the seriousness of texting and walking, asking: what if that fountain had been a bus?
But despite her warnings, texting and walking has become a real problem with devastating consequences.
Texting While Walking Accidents
A study by Ohio State University earlier this year reported that the number of pedestrians injured because they were distracted by using their phone while walking has more than doubled since 2005.
Further, they report that the researchers believe the actual number of injured pedestrians is much higher due to many not seeking treatment in an emergency room or not reporting the involvement of a cell phone in the accident.
"If current trends continue, I wouldn't be surprised if the number of injuries to pedestrians caused by cell phones doubles again between 2010 and 2015," said Jack Nasar, co-author of the study and professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State University.
Efforts to Stop Texting and Walking Accidents in NC
Last year a New Jersey town actually banned texting while walking in response to several fatal pedestrian accidents and now North Carolina has decided it's also time to take action.
According to WFMY News, one of Watch for Me NC campaign's latest initiatives has been focusing on this very problem - encouraging pedestrians to keep their eyes on the road, not on their cell phone screen.
"It's something we see all the time. It's very common, see people walking with their heads down texting....not paying attention to their surroundings," said Officer Brad Smith with UNCG Police in the WFMY story.
He went on to say that the number of distracted pedestrians, combined with the number of distracted drivers, makes for many very dangerous situations.
Texting and Walking Could Be "Contributory Negligence" in NC
In North Carolina, we have what is called "contributory negligence" which basically means that if you're found to have contributed to the accident in any way, the other party (or their insurance company) may not have to pay for your injuries or property damage - even if they were "more" at fault.
In our experience, this means if you were distracted by a cell phone at the time of an accident, an insurance company may try to use that against you to avoid paying your medical bills or other damages.
However, the state of North Carolina does allow for some exceptions to the contributory negligence rule. If you may have contributed to your accident in some way, we highly recommend that you contact a pedestrian lawyer in NC.
NC Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
The injuries from a pedestrian accident can be serious and long-lasting. If you or a loved one were hit by a car, you should contact a North Carolina pedestrian accident lawyer right away.
A NC pedestrian accident lawyer may be able to help you get the medical treatments you need now and provisions for future medical needs.
The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin has helped thousands of residents in North Carolina to get the benefits they needed and we may be able to help you. Give us a call for a free case evaluation today - 1-866-900-7078.