Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pedestrian injuries from cell phones

You will recall the excellent advice of my primary care doctor, Amy Ship, when it comes to using a cell phone while driving.  Don't!

Now comes this story from Governing, about the dangers to pedestrians who are walking and using their cell phones, both talking and texting.  It was brought to my attention by the folks at Commonwealth Magazine.  Excerpts:

Pedestrian injuries due to cell phone use are up 35 percent since 2010, according to federal emergency room data reviewed by Stateline, and some researchers blame at least 10 percent of the 78,000 pedestrian injuries in the U.S. in 2012 on mobile device distraction. The federal Fatality Analysis Reporting system attributes about a half-dozen pedestrians deaths a year to “portable electronic devices,” including phones and music players.

Emergency room visit data analyzed by Stateline are published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and incidents caused by distracted walking are likely to be underreported, since the injured party would have to confess to texting or phoning while walking.

A Stony Brook University study in 2011 documented the effect of texting on navigation while walking, finding it significantly more dangerous than talking on a cell phone, leading to a rate of 61 percent navigation errors in simulated situations.

“While talking on the phone is a distraction, texting is much more dangerous because you can’t see the path in front of you,” Jehle said.


Unknown said...

Watch the video "Seeing Eye People" for a bit of a chuckle regarding this topic of walking and using cell phones.

Paul Levy said...

Love it!