Distractions while walking are the result of the same poor judgment people use when they become distracted while driving. The distractions vary but often result in serious injuries or death. The numbers have risen extensively over the past decade. It is not a coincidence that the number has increased since electronic devices have been increasingly used by walkers.
Texting While Walking
Transportation for America reported that between the years 2000 and 2009, more than 1,000 pedestrians have died in just two states. These deaths are not closely related to, but caused by tech devices that were being used at inappropriate times. People are paying more attention to their cell phones, iPods and other tech driven devices than they are to their safety.
There are several cases of accidents that have occurred because people were distracted while walking. A girl in New York City fell six feet when stepping into an open manhole, because she was texting. She was fortunate and sustained only minor injuries. A teenager in Florida died when he stepped into oncoming traffic. He was texting instead of checking traffic patterns. Several people died in Washington D.C. after walking into traffic while wearing headphones. These are just a few cases that have occurred around the United States in the past decade.
Distracted walking is a global phenomenon, as proven by a London study in 2007. There were 68,000 texting accidents that year. These types of statistics are the reason that lawmakers have attempted to pass legislation against using cell phones and headphones while walking or riding a bike. Many states have made the attempt to enact such laws, but the fight from citizens has currently kept the laws from becoming a reality.
Legislation is not likely to stop many people who feel they have certain rights. Public awareness of the problems associated with distracted walking is ideal. Everyone must make themselves aware of the dangers around them. It is the duty of every person to pay attention at all times.
Avoiding the Dangers of Distraction
There are things that pedestrians can do to help alleviate the injurious possibilities of distracted walking. The first thing to consider is to never cross the street while talking on the cell phone or texting. Talking on a phone or texting while attempting to cross the street is one of the main causes of death in distracted walking cases.
Exercising is good for the body, but only if good safety measures are in place. If the use of headphones is necessary, walk in a park or other public area that does not require crossing streets. The volume should be kept low enough that outside sounds can be heard. This helps prevent muggings, rape and murder, as well as allows the person to hear oncoming traffic.
Technology is still one of the fastest growing industries in the world. It is a good thing as long as it is used properly and with safety in mind. Studies show that the distraction from electronics is different than other types of distractions. For some reason, the human brain blocks out important and real images when using electronics.
For instance, even when a person sees a car coming, the image is not registered in the brain properly while using tech devices. The brain receives part of the information, but tends to ignore it. People are urged not to take that chance with their lives.