Pedestrians (and Drivers) Beware!
As pointed out in an editorial in today's Chicago Tribune, as well as in a recent study showing that 80% of all accidents happen in or near the crosswalk, PEDESTRIANS MUST BEWARE OF DANGEROUS SITUATIONS!
Now, this is not to say the the fault of this dangerous situation is all to be placed firmly on the shoulders of drivers of motor vehicles, but it is a cautionary tale of just how much distraction there is in our lives.
It used to be that walking across a street was a simple activity with little or no distracting stimulus to take away our focus on the color of the light, the vehicles around us, and what they were doing. Driving too used to be a rather blandly focused activity. Perhaps smokers would have to pay attention so as not to light themselves on fire with ash falling, and radio listeners had to adjust the radios while still keeping a keen eye on the roadway. People ate in cars and drank in cars. None of that has really changed much.
That is not our world now.
Think of all the increased opportunities for distraction for drivers and pedestrians. Ipods with ear buds, phones that allow us to receive and send emails and texts while we walk, not to mention view movies and videos if we can't face walking across the Loop without something "going on!" Add to that satellite radio with a plethora of options, phones with Bluetooth devices allowing us to legally speak hands-free while still keeping our brains unengaged in the activity of driving.
It is not a stretch to say that we are a distracted society. It is not a stretch to say that there is a direct corrolation between this increased distraction and our increasing numbers of accidents that occur in crosswalks.
Simply, drivers are doing more than focusing on driving and pedestrians are doing more than walking.
It has to stop.
Make it your duty, your job, your focus, if you will, to NOT BE THAT GUY (OR GIRL) who texts while walking across a busy intersection or surrepticiously tries to send an email while turning into a busy crowd of pedestrians.
My job is to represent people who get hurt due to other peoples' negligence. I love my job. I represent some really great and interesting people and am able to provide them a measure of justice so they can be compensated for their injuries.
But I don't want to make money because of preventable accidents. I wish everyone would just pay attention so these preventable injuries (and deaths) could just never occur.
If you walk or drive, I'm talking to you.
We all know we've been guilty of distracted driving or walking at some time.
Now it is up to each of us to pay a bit more attention to what we are doing.
People don't need to be hurt or killed so we can access our email.