Texting-While-Walking Injuries Are an Epidemic
In Southern California it's pretty clear we have a texting-while-driving problem. The activity actually became more popular after it was outlawed in the Golden State, according to a survey released this summer. And, of course, it's dangerous, adding up to thousands of deaths each year.
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But as the millennial generation gets less and less into cars and more and more into gadgets, a scary thing is happening.
Texting while walking is becoming a huge danger:
A study published late this summer in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention found that injuries from texting while walking have doubled in five years, reaching a high of 1,500 hospitalizations.
During the same period, other pedestrian injuries actually decreased. And the researchers, from Ohio State University, think texting-while-walking injuries are under-reported.
Maybe you're embarrassed to tell.
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A summary of the report lists injuries like these:
One 14-year-old boy walking down a road while talking on a cell phone fell 6 to 8 feet off a bridge into a rock-strewn ditch, suffering chest and shoulder injuries. A 23-year-old man was struck by a car while walking on the middle line of a road and talking on a cell phone, injuring his hip.
Young people -- ahem -- are more likely to be injured, the academics reported:
The 21- to 25-year-old age group led the way, with 1,003 total injuries during the seven years covered by this study. The 16- to 20-year-olds were not far behind, with 985 total injuries.
Researchers used U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission data from 100 hospitals across America. Jack Nasar, co-author of the study and professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State, says:
If current trends continue, I wouldn't be surprised if the number of injuries to pedestrians caused by cell phones doubles again ...
One cure: Look up. Basic stuff, people.