In recent years, Distracted Driving has become more prevalent in our society.
We have seen more and more campaigns against the use of mobile devices while driving and the tragedies that have occurred because of distracted drivers.
However, driving isn’t the only dangerous activity you can do while texting. Studies from the University at Buffalo show that walking while distracted results in more injuries per mile than distracted driving. Pedestrians have been seen walking into light posts, stepping into traffic, and even falling into water fountains all while on their phones. Although injuries from distraction-affected car accidents are far more severe, injuries from distracted walking occur more frequently.
While walking seems like such an ordinary task, when combined with texting, it becomes increasingly more complex. Researchers at Stony Brook University have found that pedestrians using their cell phones while walking are 61% more likely to veer off their path. Distracted walkers are not only a danger to themselves, but to others as well. Those walking while distracted can run into another pedestrian and knock them over.
This is not a phenomenon we as a society have always faced.
According to research, 70% of people have admitted to texting and walking. Since 2005, the amount of people walking and texting is up over 500%, and nearly half of all pedestrians crossing at busy intersections do so while engaged in distracting activities.
The proliferation of smartphones, engaging games and apps, and social media have helped increase this behavior. Adults under 30 years old are more likely to be at risk of cell phone related injuries than any other age group. These advances are not going away any time soon. Thus, we all need to take extra precaution when we are pedestrians on the street.
One of the best solutions is to wait on checking your phone.
Waiting until you have crossed the street or reached your destination to check your phone will certainly increase your safety. If you do decide to check your phone, there are some other approaches to staying safe. Take frequent breaks to look up to ensure you are aware of your surroundings. Walk with your phone higher up so you are more likely to see potential risks, such as cross roads and traffic signals.
Remember these facts and remember to be prepared and alert whenever you are acting as a pedestrian. Be sure to share these facts with friends and family to help prevent any more distracted walking injuries and deaths. Download “distracted_walking” from Hussey Fraser for some quick facts on the dangers of distracted walking.