How Distracted Walking in NYC Can Be Dangerous

Distracted driving is already a major concern in New York and the rest of the country. Talking, texting, and web browsing while driving can cause injuries and death. Although distracted driving receives the most attention, distracted walking shouldn’t be ignored. Listening to loud music while walking or looking down at a cell phone could have dire consequences. According to a study done by the National Safety Council over an 11-year period, distracted walking led to over 11,000 injuries. As it becomes more prominent, policymakers in United States have started to target distracted walkers with legislation.

What Is Distracted Walking?

New York City has millions of people walking around every day. Distracted walking is more frequent in New York due to congestion and population. Any instance where an individual is walking without fully paying attention to his or her surroundings is considered distracted walking. Texting and walking is the most common form of this but there are many other ways a person could get distracted while walking. Reading or sending an email on the phone, using a map/GPS, talking on the phone and listening to music are all ways someone could be distracted while walking.

Why is it Dangerous?

Distracted walking gets dangerous when people are no longer paying attention to anything around them. From hazards that might cause them to slip and fall to oncoming vehicles, distracted walking leads to a wide range of accidents. Texting and walking is the most dangerous because texting usually requires someone to focus visually and cognitively. It’s hard to see your surroundings when reading or typing while walking. Listening to music can be dangerous because it can prevent you from being able to hear approaching vehicles.

How Are Cities Trying To Help?

Other cities are trying to reduce the risk of someone walking into traffic with eyes on his or her cell phone. Other places like New Jersey are proposing legislation that would fine someone for distracted walking.
Distracted walking is becoming a more prominent issue in New York City and other cities. It’s always beneficial to know about traffic laws and cases in America. Check out our blog for news and more information about traffic cases in the United States to stay informed.