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Pedestrian deaths are on the rise throughout the United States, primarily in large, urban cities, and walking and texting is largely to blame, researchers say.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian fatalities have risen from 4,109 in 2009 to 4,432 in 2011, along with more than 69,000 injuries. This increase is felt most in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, which have the highest percentage of pedestrian deaths relative to total traffic accident fatalities.

A new study recently conducted by the Ohio State University suggests that much of this increase comes from “distracted walking”, which is responsible for more than two million pedestrian injuries each year. Even on foot, cell phones present a serious distraction, says the Buckeye research team. With too much attention paid to text messaging or reading emails, pedestrians can easily wander off sidewalks, into traffic, and outside marked crosswalks.

In one accident fatality captured on surveillance video in Philadelphia, a man walked off a train platform while texting. In La Crescenta, a man fiddling with his cell phone wandered into an encounter with a black bear. Similar bizarre and dangerous accidents are becoming increasingly common throughout the country.

To help curb this deadly trend, the US Department of Transportation has announced a new $2 million campaign designed to encourage cities to implement new safety changes. 22 large cities will be invited to develop a plan to improve pedestrian safety and submit it before the end of August, at which time the federal government will select the top five proposals and provide grants to implement them.

In many cities, law enforcement agencies are also starting to issue distracted walking citations, ticketing pedestrians oblivious to their surroundings. A new pedestrian safety website has also been launched by the Department of Transportation called “Everyone is a Pedestrian”, offering tips and warning against the overlooked dangers of walking and texting.

And yet sometimes, even the most attentive pedestrians can fall victim to an accident as a result of the negligence of other drivers. If you or someone you know has been injured in such an accident, there is help available to you in the form of legal action. Depending on the circumstances that surround your accident, you may be entitled to compensation from those at fault to cover extensive medical bills, or to replace wages lost from time spent away from work, and more.

At AA Accident Attorneys, we will work to get you the full amount that you are rightfully owed, getting you back on your feet as quickly as possible. As always, we will not charge you anything for our legal services until your case is won. If we are unable to collect on your case, then you will not owe us anything. For more information and a free evaluation to discuss your available options, call us today at 800-260-2577. We can be reached seven days a week, any time day or night.

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