Today’s technology allows people to stay in touch on the go with friends, family and even work. But smartphones have a side effect – diverting attention and causing accidents. The National Safety Council reports that 1 in 4 car accidents involves the use of cell phones in some manner.
Using Smartphones Endangers Pedestrians
You may think that if you are not driving, it is safe to use a smartphone as a pedestrian. Just because you are walking, you aren’t necessarily safer. Walking while you are distracted can be just as dangerous as driving while distracted. If you are not aware of what is happening near you as a pedestrian, you may put yourself in danger. While the best solution may be to put the phone away until you get to your destination, this isn’t always practical. Luckily, there is an idea in the works that may help save lives.
Install Traffic Lights on the Ground?
This new idea, which is being tested in certain cities around the world, involves the installation of traffic signals on the ground, as well as in the air. The same “walk/don’t walk” or red and green signal that is used today would now be displayed on the ground as well as in the air or on a pole. This type of signal could benefit pedestrians who are looking at their phones. The idea is that pedestrians looking at their phones would be able to see signals on the ground, without looking up.
The lights on the ground would not replace current signals. The purpose of the lights on the ground is not to encourage unsafe behavior. Instead, these lights would simply add a layer of protection to help prevent accidents for people who are walking while looking down at their phones.
Where Ground Traffic Lights Are Used Today
These signals are being tested today in cities such as Sydney, Australia and in major towns throughout Germany. Before long these may appear in the United States or even in Maine. While the signals may not prevent all smartphone-related pedestrian accidents, they do offer a relatively simple way to make traffic patterns more visible to people who are focused on their phones.
If you have been the victim of any accident, whether due to mobile technology or not, it is important that you have the best possible information available to help you move forward with your life. Reach out to us at Fales & Fales. We would love to answer your questions and make certain you get the close, personal attention you need. Give us a call or contact us online today.
Image via Flickr by Gaby