Walking is becoming more dangerous than driving


These days, walking down the street may be more dangerous than driving. The number of pedestrian fatalities has skyrocketed and there may be one small thing to blame: Your cell phone.


More and more people are stepping into traffic with their heads buried in their smart phones.


“We have pedestrians who are not paying attention to where they’re going and who may not even be allowed to be crossing at that time,” California Highway Patrol Officer Josh Nelson said.


But it’s not just pedestrians with their eyes off the road and heads in a different place – drivers are distracted, too and that combination has proven deadly. A new report shows there was an eleven percent spike in pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. last year.


“Make sure you make eye contact with that driver, you know the driver knows you’re there and that their intention is to stop,” Officer Nelson said.


The report shows pedestrian deaths are climbing even faster than motorist fatalities, reaching nearly 6,000 last year. That’s the highest number in 20 years.


“They could all be prevented. It is difficult to see.”


While more people are getting out of the driver’s seat in favor of their own two feet – for exercise and good health; their phones, in some cases, are literally killing them.


“Pedestrians don’t have armor. You know with cars versus pedestrians, you all know where that’s going to go.”


Even though there are laws against distracted driving, drinking and driving and jaywalking, it’s perfectly legal to use your phone while walking, so law enforcement is hoping, someday, putting down the phone will be as common as buckling your seat belt.


Officers obviously recommend walking on the sidewalk, within crosswalks and walking facing traffic so you can see if a car is coming at you. If you’re walking at night, wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight. And finally, if you’re walking drunk have someone sober with you, to keep you out of trouble – and traffic!


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