Drivers Still Have Duty to Observe Walkers Who Text

Recently, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that walking while texting can be hazardous to your health. This may, in fact, be true…but I ask the question: Why is everyone so quick to blame the pedestrian? If you are behind the wheel of a 6,000 pound vehicle, shouldn’t you watch where you are going and avoid ANY pedestrian, even those who are texting while they walk? If a pedestrian is walking in a crosswalk, a vehicle must yield to that pedestrian regardless of whether the pedestrian is texting, or talking on a cell phone, or picking his nose or doing cartwheels across the street. The streets of Atlanta have become so dangerous for walkers and bicyclists mainly because our automobile drivers have taken on an attitude that they own the road and watch out, here I come! This seems especially true given the proliferation of SUV’s. Getting behind the wheel of an SUV does not give you the right to mow down someone walking on the street. Drivers need to take more care in operating their vehicles and pay attention to what is ahead of them in the road.

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