Texting + Walking in NC – Danger & Liability

Remember this video of the woman who fell into a fountain while texting that went viral a few years ago?

In interviews after the video became popular, the woman later reminded viewers that the video, while humorous, was a good reminder about the seriousness of texting and walking. She asked: What if that fountain had been a bus?

But, despite her warnings, texting and walking has become a real problem with devastating consequences.

Texting While Walking Accidents

According to a 2018 report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian deaths reached their highest number since 1990. An estimated 6,283 pedestrians were killed and, on average, 17 pedestrians were killed each day in fatal crashes.

Moreover, texting while walking, or “distracted walking,” has contributed to the rise in these numbers, causing more than 11,100 injuries in 2017 alone.

Researchers from an Ohio State University study also believe the actual number of injured pedestrians is much higher due to many not seeking treatment in an emergency room or not reporting the involvement of a cell phone in the accident.Aerial top view of a man with smartphone crossing the road in the city

Efforts to Stop Texting and Walking Accidents in NC

Several cities, such as Honolulu, HI, Montclair, CA, and Stamford, CT, have created laws banning “distracted walking” in response to several fatal pedestrian accidents. Now, North Carolina has decided it’s also time to take action.

According to WFMY News, one of Watch for Me NC campaign’s latest initiatives has been focusing on this very problem – encouraging pedestrians to keep their eyes on the road, not on their cell phone screen.

“It’s something we see all the time. It’s very common, see people walking with their heads down texting…not paying attention to their surroundings,” said Officer Brad Smith with UNCG Police in the WFMY story.

He went on to say that the number of distracted pedestrians, combined with the number of distracted drivers, makes for many very dangerous situations.

Approximately 17 pedestrians are killed each day due to fatal crashes.
An experienced attorney can help you if you’ve been harmed by the negligence of another.

Texting and Walking Could Be “Contributory Negligence” in NC

In North Carolina, we have what is called “contributory negligence” which basically means that if you’re found to have contributed to the accident in any way, the other party (or their insurance company) may not have to pay for your injuries or property damage – even if they were “more” at fault.

In our experience, this means if you were distracted by a cell phone at the time of an accident, an insurance company may try to use that against you to avoid paying your medical bills or other damages.

However, the state of North Carolina does allow for some exceptions to the contributory negligence rule. If you may have contributed to your accident in some way, we highly recommend that you contact a pedestrian lawyer in NC.

NC Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

The injuries from a pedestrian accident can be serious and long-lasting. If you or a loved one were hit by a car, you should contact a North Carolina pedestrian accident lawyer right away.

A NC pedestrian accident lawyer may be able to help you get the medical treatments you need now and provisions for future medical needs.

The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin has helped thousands of residents in North Carolina fight for the benefits they needed and we may be able to help you. Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation today.

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About the Author

Cristen Bartus practices personal injury law in North Carolina at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin. She is a member of North Carolina Advocates for Justice, has performed Pro Bono work for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, and volunteered with ​Partners for Youth Opportunity. Before joining the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, Cristen worked in regulatory affairs researching proper compliance by insurers. She also reviewed consumer complaints and conducted research for cases under the Consumer Sales Practices Act.