By now most Americans are well familiar with the dangers of distracted driving. In fact, only 1 out of 5 teens think they can text and drive at the same time without a problem. Unfortunately, behavior doesn’t always follow this thinking, because cell phones are seemingly addictive and too often still part of our transportation routines. Increasingly, distracted walking is becoming a related concern, particularly because this behavior affects kids.

You might be familiar with what I’m talking about. As Bellingham schools let out for the day, you can spot groups of kids walking home from school, many of whom have heads down, staring at cell phone screens. If their eyes are on their phones, they are not watching where they’re going 

More and more kids are given cell phones at young ages. They can be helpful for parents communicating with their children, keeping track of their schedules and whereabouts, and if an emergency arises. However, if you are a parent who has given your child a cell phone, did you give them some pointers on how to stay safe?

Tips on pedestrian safety:

  • Do not walk while talking on the phone or texting
  • If you have to talk or text, move out of the way of others and onto the side of the walkway. Not only does this keep you out of harm’s way, it’s courteous to others.
  • Do not cross or walk in the street while using an electronic device. This includes headphones with music playing. If the music is loud enough, you might even miss the sound of a train’s horn, like this unfortunate pedestrian  
  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially in congested areas. This goes for busy pedestrian areas, as well as vehicles.

A recent study found that, “while distracted, children were less attentive to traffic; left less time between their crossing and the next arriving vehicle; experienced more collisions and close calls with oncoming traffic; and waited longer before beginning to cross the street.”

An added cell phone detail to remind children about is that he or she can still call for help by dialing 9-1-1 if they are in trouble, regardless if there is service on the phone. Many don’t even realize that the phone has this capability.

Bill Coats Law helps victims of drunk and distracted drivers. Even if you were walking while using your phone and someone hit you, you still might have a claim. If won’t hurt to call, and because Bill Coats Law works with all clients on a contingency fee agreement , you won’t pay a dime until your claim settles. All consultations are free. Call 360-303-0601.

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