Scroll through any job board and you’ll find post after post of job listings all seeking individuals with excellent multitasking skills. Multitasking is considered a prized ability throughout the world, but the concept of multitasking is built upon a myth. Humans simply cannot multitask and study after study has proven this inability time and time again. Rather than focus on two tasks simultaneously, the brain alternates attention from one task to the next giving the appearance of multitasking. Thus, when we use our phones and walk, attention is mainly given to the activity on our phone while we occasionally alternate back to focusing on our walking.
This inability to engage in two activities simultaneously is the reason videos of texters walking into fountains and tripping over cellar doors are scattered throughout the internet. The impact distraction has on walking has been enough to prompt some cities to take action. Fort Lee, New Jersey became the first U.S. city to ban texting at intersections when 23 distracted jaywalkers were hit by cars in 2012. More recently, Honolulu has joined in as the first major city to implement a pedestrian texting law. The move has many city officials across the country wondering if they should follow suit. While Glendale, currently has no plans to draft legislation on pedestrian texting, it’s still worth exploring whether the city should consider such action.
Distracted Walking Laws In Honolulu
Honolulu signed a distracted walking bill in July, which goes into effect at the end of October this year. The new law can be found in Section 15-24.23 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu. The law will not prevent an individual from talking on the phone. The ordinance only prevents individuals from looking at any device while crossing the street, including phones, videogame devices, laptops, and pagers (though paging and walking likely won’t be a problem for anyone that isn’t a doctor). Anyone found in violation of the new ordinance is subject to fine between $15 to $35 for a first time offence. A second violation of the law could result in a $35 to $75 fine, while any subsequent violation is punishable with fines of up to $99.
The law has been met with a mix of praise and concern. Some fear a pedestrian ban on texting will hurt tourism or infringe on American’s rights to decide where to look while walking. Only time will tell how things play out Honolulu, but Fort Lee seems perfectly content with their now 5 year old texting ban.
The Implications For Glendale
As mentioned in our analysis of Glendale accident data, Glendale ranks as one of the worst cities in California for pedestrian accidents and the worst city in its population bracket for pedestrian accidents involving seniors. In total, 78 pedestrian related accidents occurred in Glendale last year, which resulted in 70 injuries and four deaths. Intersections like Alexander St. & Kenilworth Ave., and Brand Blvd. & Maple St. were hotspots for multiple pedestrian incidences. Unfortunately, the factors contributing each accident are not included in the data. Still, it would not be wise to rule out distraction as a factor.
Distracted walking accounted for 11,101 injuries between 2000 and 2011 according to the National Safety Council and that number continues to increase. The rise in cellphone related injuries parallels the eight-fold increase in cell phone use over the last 15 years. Studies have shown that elderly individuals aged 55 or older are more likely to suffer serious injuries in distracted walking incidences, though individuals of all ages are guilty in engaging in distracted walking behaviors. A texting ban at intersections could increase pedestrian safety and propel the city up from its less than stellar senior pedestrian accident ranking. If a ban could prevent just one less injury or death a year, it would ultimately be worth implementing (though, we’d be interested in hearing your thoughts in the comment section below).
Nevertheless, it’s important to note that pedestrians distraction is not the only factor for pedestrian related accidents. Afterall, foot travelers have the right of way and vehicle drivers are accountable for maintaining awareness of pedestrian activity on the roads. Even without distraction, there is sometimes nothing a pedestrian can do to avoid the careless disregard of a driver.
Glendale Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
If the negligence of a driver has caused you injury or harm while crossing the street, it’s important for you to understand that you’re likely entitled to compensation. Megeredchian Law takes great pride in helping individuals earn the financial relief they deserve. Attorney Alex Megeredchian’s compassionate, aggressive, and experienced legal representation has helped hundreds of accident victims get back on their feet. Let Alex focus on your claim while you focus on recovering. Schedule a free initial consultation with Megeredchian Law today.