Distracted Walking Personal Injury Claims In Ottawa | MG Law

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Understanding The Threat Of Distracted Walking

Ottawa citizens should be aware of distracted walking and its dangers

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many Ottawa citizens into an extended state of working from home. Remote work has become increasingly common while gyms and health spas experience rolling shutdowns. This has resulted in many residents taking up walking, running or jogging to get some fresh air and keep fit.

With warmer spring weather on the way, more Ottawans will be venturing out into the city for exercise. Nevertheless, given our modern-day over-reliance on smartphones, you should be aware that distracted walking could lead to a serious personal injury. Incidents like these are on the rise. Here’s what you need to know when visiting some of Ottawa’s public parks and trails this season.

Defining distracted walking. What is it exactly?

Also referred to as ‘wexting’, distracted walking is defined as instances where pedestrians don’t put their full attention into walking. In other words, their focus is taken away by smartphone or digital device use. Ever since the rise of cellphones and smartphones, many people have been hooked into a digitally distracted lifestyle. Nowadays, the instant gratification of cellphone use is something many people are unknowingly addicted to.

The result is that many everyday pedestrians regularly lose focus in their surroundings. This leads to collisions with other pedestrians, objects, and most dangerously, motor vehicles. The potential dangers of distracted walking are very real. Many people have seriously injured themselves, or others, as a result of distracted walking. A kind of silent epidemic, distracted walking has resulted in a slow but steady increase in injuries that have been especially prevalent in people under the age of 40. 

Remember, Ottawa could well be a distracted walking hotspot this season

Distracted walking can happen anywhere, but is particularly common in public streets and intersections, shopping malls, along with popular parks and hiking trails. The human race has exceptional horizontal peripheral vision. However, when someone tilts their head down to send a text message or focus on a smartphone game, their vertical peripheral vision becomes significantly reduced. The result is distracted walkers embarassingly colliding with other pedestrians, stumbling into fountains, or walking straight into glass doors. Remember to always stay focused on your surroundings so you avoid potential injuries this spring.   

Distracted walking as contributory negligence in personal injury cases

Distracted walkers could potentially receive less compensation due to their own negligence if a personal injury case is opened because of a pedestrian collision with another individual or vehicle.

Should a distracted walking incident result in serious injury, lawyers could well use phone records. This in an attempt to prove ‘contributory negligence’ on behalf of the distracted walker. In this case, the distracted walker might be responsible to pay for all damages of the injured party.

For anyone that is concerned about distracted walking in public spaces or parks, ‘text breaks’ might be a great solution. It sounds simple but should you need to read or send an important text, move out of the way of pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Then complete the task in a safe place before heading back on a busy path or walkway.

Navigate personal injury claims with Ottawa’s own MG Law

Remember, MG Law is highly experienced in handling pedestrian accident claims. Serious distracted walking collisions are on the rise all across Canada, and the long-term consequences are very real and can cause serious injury. Should you or someone you know be a victim of distracted walking, you are best to leverage the experience of MG Law. We can help you navigate the entire situation.

You aren’t alone during a complicated distracted walking case. Claim what is rightfully yours with our Ottawa pedestrian accident lawyers that will fight on your behalf. Call 613-730-8460 to speak to MG Law today.

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