Distracted Walking Linked to Deadly Pedestrian Accidents in Alaska


After years of warnings, public awareness campaigns, and laws prohibiting phone use while driving, every motorist in Alaska should know the dangers of distracted driving. When they do not pay attention to safely operating the vehicle, their surroundings, and road conditions, motorists put others at risk of vehicle crashes. However, one aspect of safety does not get as much attention — the hazards of distracted walking. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that almost 6,000 people were killed in fatal pedestrian accidents in 2017, and officials have linked the increased use of cell phones to the higher numbers over previous years.

Negligent motorists will remain a threat to pedestrians, but avoiding distractions can help you protect yourself AND preserve your rights if you are injured while walking. An Alaska pedestrian accidents attorney can explain the details, but some information on distracted walking may be eye-opening.


The Dangers of Distracted Walking

The hazards due to distracted walking are considerable and should be of particular concern to Alaskans: The Last Frontier State is home to the largest percentage of people who walk to work, at 8.9%. You should note additional statistics NSC researchers pointed out on how pedestrians risk their own safety through distracted walking:

  • From 2016 to 2017, the number of pedestrian deaths hit levels not seen in 25 years.
  • During this time, people on foot comprised approximately 16% of all traffic accident fatalities, compared to 11 percent 10 years earlier.
  • Cell phone use among Americans increased more than 230% from 2010 to 2016, coinciding with a rise in the number of phone-related emergency room visits.


Safety Tips to Avoid Distracted Pedestrian Accidents

The most effective way to prevent being hit by a motorist is also the most obvious: Put your cell phone in your pocket while walking on sidewalks and crosswalks, as well as around busy intersections. Do not take calls, listen to music, or watch videos while on foot. If you need to use your phone or send a message, get away from motorized vehicle traffic – and even designated bike lanes where cyclists may be traveling faster than you think.


Distracted Walking May Adversely Impact Your Claim: Not only can you get hurt when not paying attention as a pedestrian, but distracted walking can also harm your legal rights. Alaska follows the rule of contributory negligence, in which your compensation could be reduced if you were at fault in causing the accident in which you were injured. Distracted walking can be viewed as a form of negligence, thereby decreasing the amount of damages you may recover.


Contact an Alaska Pedestrian Accident Lawyer About Your Rights

Avoiding distractions can keep you safe while walking, but putting the phone away also deflects any argument that you were also negligent in causing a pedestrian accident. For more information on the legal process for filing a claim, please contact the Anchorage, Alaska offices of Power & Power Law. We can schedule a free case evaluation to review your circumstances and explain your options.