Do you walk and talk or walk and text on our cellphone?
According to a new study, over 1500 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms in the United States last year for injuries sustained while walking and using their cellphones.
Study author Jack Nasar said that the study findings demonstrate that cellphone use is not only dangerous when driving but also poses a threat to those who are on foot.
It is very difficult to do two things well – says Nasar, professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State University, even if it is only walking.
When data from a federal national database of emergency room visits were looked at, it was found that were between 256 to 597 pedestrian and cellphone accidents.
Numbers jumped to over 1,000 the following year and 1,506 the next, indicating a rise in accidents.
The number of injuries that were sustained while walking and using a cellphone were equal to those of drivers who were on cellphones.
Injury details included pedestrians on phones being hit by car, falling off bridges and walking into poles.
People 31 years and younger were most likely to be hurt while walking and using a cellphone followed by those who were 21 to 25.
Problem with Multitasking
Researchers state that this study is consistent with others that show how dangerous multitasking really is. Having access to advanced technology tempts us to do many things at once.
A study released earlier this month indicated that 90 percent of parents surveyed report technology-related multitasking while driving with their children.
Tasks included such things as changing CD or DVD, adjusting GPS coordinates, texting and using the phone to talk. These same parents reported that they hoped their children would not text and drive but were not setting a very good example.
Although a lot of attention has been given to distracted teens behind the wheel, it is clear that most parents are, themselves, distracted.
This study should serve as a reminder of how we always need to set a good example for our children.
How to Stay Safe
The same rules apply to walking, and cellphone use as driving, especially if you are in a busy area of town.
- Take the time to stop and text or use the phone so that you don’t incur injury.
- If you must answer a call, take the time to stop and talk or text.
- Turn your phone off while you are walking so to avoid answering or making a call.
- Make calls before you start walking.