In response to so many accidents occurring as a result of people driving motor vehicles while talking or texting on cell phones, laws were finally put in place prohibiting this behavior. In recent years statistics are showing that pedestrian cell phone use while walking, especially in crowded areas, is causing accidents of various kinds.
Injuries occurring while walking and using cell phones:
1. A research study at Ohio State University came to the conclusion that in 2010, 1,506 pedestrians were injured due to distractions while using a cell phone. Texting is so distracting that people can forget to look both ways when crossing a street. This may seem a trivial figure but the reality is that more and more people are being distracted by mobile technology.
2. Doctors around the country are reporting patients who were injured when they walked smack into a street sign or a pole. These accidents happened while they were texting with their head straight down. Some people have twisted or broken their ankle while unintentionally stepping off a curb. It's hard to believe, but one "walker and talker" actually fell off the side of a pier into the water below. In addition, this practice brings the possibility of running into another person, a dog or who knows what else. An elderly or handicapped person or a child could be seriously injured.
3. Young people between the ages of 18-34 seem to consider texting and talking while walking something that one need not be too concerned about.
Suggestions to make cell phone usage in public area safer:
1. Follow the same law that regulates cell phone use while driving - pull off to the side of the road to take a call or to text. This same practice should apply to pedestrians. An instant answer to the ring of your phone probably isn't important enough to risk injury.
2. It is interesting to notice that many walking texters slow down considerably and follow a zigzag pattern of movement. It might be wise to look up occasionally and straighten out your path.
3. Perhaps it's about time for cities or states to set forth some regulations and consequences to the practice of talking while walking.
Studies and surveys are consistently showing that more and more people are using cell phones while walking in public places. It can be a dangerous practice and evidence of more injuries is being reported. If you're someone who is easily distracted by their phone try and be careful where and when you let your latest updates distract you!
Sel Jones, the author, is constantly amazed by how new phones are changing our relationship with the world - and causing accidents!