Can You Be Held Legally Responsible for Distracted Walking Accidents?
Distracted driving is a factor in nearly a quarter of motor vehicle related deaths, but what about distracted walking accidents? This interactive map shows where pedestrians have been hit in the Vancouver area and across British Columbia. The numbers are surprising.
Cell Phone Walking Accidents in Vancouver
A person who is distracted by a cell phone – such as playing games, texting, browsing the web, talking, or posting on social media – while walking has a greater chance of being involved in a pedestrian accident, with potentially fatal consequences. It is estimated that distracted walking injuries make up less than 1 percent of all traffic accidents, but account for nearly 45 percent of traffic-related deaths.
The law says that pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk, even if there are no markings on the road. But who is at fault when a pedestrian is distracted while crossing the street and is struck by a vehicle?
Distracted Walking Accidents: What are they?
Distracted walking accidents involve a motor vehicle striking a pedestrian whose attention was engaged elsewhere, usually on a digital device. Sending text messages, web browsing, playing games, sharing on social media, and even reading a book or taking a picture are all examples of distracting activities while walking.
Distracted walking accidents are a growing concern in an increasingly connected digital age. Recently, the Toronto city council passed a motion regarding the regulation of distracted walking. So far, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation has not issued any rules of its own regarding distracted walking.
Who Is Responsible for Distracted Walking Safety?
There are currently no laws explicitly barring people in Vancouver from distracted walking, but many people have voiced concern over the issue and the rise in serious accidents as a result. ICBC and the courts pedestrians have a duty to look out for their safety, such as not stepping out in front of a vehicle that could not stop in time.
Distracted Walking Accidents: How to Get Help
Unless and until the B.C. Government passes laws mandating pedestrians refrain from cell phone use while crossing streets, finding fault for a distracted walking accident will likely be disputed in court. The law is unlikely to change, and a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation indicated that officials would leave the decision to local municipalities for the foreseeable future. For now, public awareness campaigns include reminding pedestrians to stay vigilant and encouraging distracted walking safety.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident involving a distracted pedestrian, Klein Lawyers are here for you. We know the stress and pain that a serious accident can cause, and we have committed our careers to helping injured people in British Columbia. Our experienced staff is equipped to help you navigate the legal system.
Consultations are always free. We will examine the facts of your case and will let you know if you may be eligible for compensation. We are ready to fight on behalf of you and your family for a settlement, and if necessary, we are not afraid to take your case to court to seek the compensation you deserve.
For more than 20 years, Klein Lawyers have fought for people in Vancouver who have been hurt in serious accidents, including distracted walking accidents. Our team has been recognized as the Top Personal Injury Firm of 2017, Global Law Experts of 2016, and GameChanger of the Year by ACQ Global Awards.
If you have been hurt in an accident, time is critical. You should contact an experienced lawyer for help immediately. Call us or contact us online for a free consultation today.