Mark Roman | September 5, 2014 | Newsletter Article
Everyone multitasks, but juggling certain activities may be more dangerous than you might think. A recent study showed that texting while walking can lead to serious injuries and is responsible for a startling volume of accidents in the United States. While most texting-while-waking injuries are minor (stubbed toes, tripping over boxes, etc.), others lead to serious medical issues. Falling down the stairs, for example, can easily cause bone fractures, sprains, back injuries, head injuries, etc.
A professor of emergency medicine at the University of Buffalo in New York stated, “When texting, you’re not as in control with the complex actions of walking. While talking on the phone is a distraction, texting is much more dangerous because you can’t see the path in front of you.”
Texting Behind the Wheel vs. Texting While Walking
In recent years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has focused significant effort on texting while driving. Interestingly, some of the same issues related to texting while driving apply to texting while walking. According to the NHTSA, there are three types of distraction: manual, visual, and cognitive. Reading a text presents the same distractions to pedestrians as it does to drivers. Not only are pedestrians distracted from the path in front of them, but they are also mentally distracted too.
Cellphone-Related Pedestrian Injuries Triple in Recent Years
According to a study conducted by Ohio State University, the number of cellphone-related pedestrian ER visits tripled between 2004 and 2010. During this same time, the total number of pedestrian accidents decreased. Adults under the age of 30 suffered the highest percentage of cellphone-related pedestrian injuries.
Like any form of carelessness, texting while walking not only places the pedestrian in danger but others as well. Walking and texting increases the likelihood that you will walk into the street or walk in front of another person and cause an accident.
In another study, researchers at Stony Brook University found that, compared to individuals who are not texting, pedestrians who text are 61 percent more likely to walk away from their intended path and 13 percent more like to overshoot their destination. If your destination is the edge of a curb, taking an extra step could cause a serious accident.
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