Smartphones may be to blame for the increase.

Pedestrian Accident Deaths Are on the RiseWhen you are out on a walk, you may think that you are perfectly safe as long as you stay on the sidewalk and use crosswalks.  But according to a recent study from the Governors’ Highway Safety Association, the number of pedestrians who are killed by cars is rising.

Pedestrian deaths account for as many as 15% of all traffic-related fatalities in the US.  The 2016 numbers show a significant increase in the number of pedestrians killed by vehicles — the highest total fatalities since 1996, when 5.449 walkers, joggers and runners were killed by motorists.

Increasing smartphone use may be a contributing factor as pedestrians become more and more distracted.  Both drivers and walkers are likely to be on their phones instead of paying attention.

The dangers of distracted driving have been well-documented, and in many states, using your cellphone while driving can lead to criminal charges.  But even though distracted walking isn’t quite as serious as distracted driving, it is still a problem. If you are engrossed in your phone instead of paying attention to the world around you, you could trip and fall, run into someone, go in the wrong direction — or be hit by a car.

So how can we walk, jog, and run responsibly?  The first step is to be alert.  While listening to music or a podcast might be a good way to pass the time while you exercise, it doesn’t help you stay safe.  Don’t wear headphones and pay attention to your surroundings. Keep your phone in your pocket or otherwise away — you won’t be able to see potential hazards if your eyes are glued to your screen.   You should also follow the rules of the road—use crosswalks, only cross a street when it is permissible to do so, and stay off the roads when a path or sidewalk is available.  If weather conditions are poor, wear reflective clothing and try to stay in well-lit areas. You should also never assume that a driver will give you the right of way.  While you might be entitled to cross in front of a driver, if the driver doesn’t see you or just doesn’t agree, it could result in you being seriously injured or even killed.

If you are hurt in an accident while you are out walking, running, or jogging, contact the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 or  We have nearly 4 decades of experience helping injured people get the money that they deserve for their injuries.  We have a 95% success rate, and have helped more than 100,000 people recover over $2 billion dollars.  We offer free initial consultations, and we never charge a fee unless we get money for you.  Call us today to learn more!

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