Walk around the downtown of any city and you will see pedestrians glued to their smartphones. However, even as smart phones have improved our ability to connect, they have also made walking more hazardous for both pedestrians and motorists alike. Distracted pedestrians are increasingly causing accidents. The phenomenon has become so common that some cities are now fighting the problem through fining pedestrians for the use of smartphones while walking.
Honolulu Becomes First Major U.S. City to Ban Texting and Walking
According to a recent New York Times report, Honolulu recently became the first major U.S. city to extend the ban to pedestrians in July. Under that law, any pedestrian crossing a street while “viewing” a cellphone can be fined between $15 and $35. The Times article further notes that a 2015 study in the Journal of Safety Studies found that, between 2000 and 2007, fewer than 400 pedestrians were injured in the U.S. each year due to accidents caused by pedestrians distracted by their phones. However, after the introduction of Apple’s original iPhone in 2007 kicked off the smartphone revolution, an estimated 1,300 pedestrians were injured in 2012 while absorbed in their cell phones.
Pedestrian Duties When Interacting with Motor Vehicles under Florida Law
Pedestrians, just like drivers, have duties under Florida law. For instance, pedestrians have a general duty under Florida law to exercise reasonable caution when crossing roads or interacting with cars and other motor vehicles. In addition, under Florida Statutes Section 316.130, pedestrians have specified laws they must obey. First, pedestrians must obey all laws applicable to non-vehicles. For example, a pedestrian is required to obey any traffic device specifically applicable to the pedestrian unless otherwise directed by a police officer. Pedestrians are also required to obey all traffic control signals at intersections. Therefore, a pedestrian crossing against the light is violating the law in Florida.
Contact Lytal Reiter if You Are Involved in An Accident with a Pedestrian Who is Ignoring His or Her Duties Under Florida Law
There are traffic laws in Florida that apply to pedestrians just like there are laws that apply to motorists. If a pedestrian is not following these laws requiring because the pedestrian is glued to his or her smartphone, the pedestrian may be at fault if he or she causes an accident in which a motorist is injured. If you have been injured in Florida due to the carelessness of a pedestrian glued to his or her smartphone, then contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of Lytal Reiter Smith Ivey & Fronrath today at (561) 655-1990 for a free consultation regarding your legal rights. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have represented clients who have been seriously injured in many different scenarios, including pedestrian-caused accidents.