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Walking Injuries Quadruple Thanks to Texting Distractions

By - Source: Techcrunch | B 24 comments

Better watch where you're going!

As increasingly advanced as our smartphones have become, they've also come with one unfortunate side effect. According to the Associated Press, the number of people walking into each other, manholes, on-coming cars and other objects has quadrupled over the past few years. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that an estimated 1,152 people were sent to the emergency room last year due to "distracted walking".

Some examples of the reported incidents include:

  • A 24-year-old woman who walked into a telephone pole while texting;
  • A 28-year-old man who was walking along a road when he fell into a ditch while talking on a cellphone
  • A 12-year-old boy who was looking at a video game when he was clipped by a pickup truck as he crossed the street
  • A 53-year-old woman who fell off a curb while texting and lacerated her face.

Man Walks Into Bear While Texting

Over the years, officials have tried to reduce the number of incidents with PSA billboards and legislation, but it seems like people just can't get their heads out of their... phones. As hilarious as some of these incidents may be, distracted walking could actually become a serious problem as indicated by a 4.2 percent rise in pedestrian fatalities in 2010.

Unfortunately, most attempts at criminalizing things like texting while walking has been met with universal opposition and has left lawmakers reluctant to impose fines. Until people get better at multitasking or legislation pushes through, we may end up seeing more people walking into manholes or fountains in the near future.


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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    dfusco , September 4, 2012 6:17 PM
  • 13 Hide
    idroid , September 4, 2012 6:26 PM
    Let the natural selection begin :D 
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    Engima , September 4, 2012 6:05 PM
    Good. I don't feel bad at all when people fail to pay attention to their surroundings.
  • Display all 24 comments.
  • 8 Hide
    sheepsnowadays , September 4, 2012 6:08 PM
    That's sad that you need to make laws cause people are that dumb.
  • 14 Hide
    dfusco , September 4, 2012 6:17 PM
  • 13 Hide
    idroid , September 4, 2012 6:26 PM
    Let the natural selection begin :D 
  • 9 Hide
    therabiddeer , September 4, 2012 6:32 PM
    A proud display of the most intelligent species on the planet...
  • 6 Hide
    halcyon , September 4, 2012 6:33 PM
    This is actually good news.
    idroidLet the natural selection begin
    Couldn't agree more, if one feels that texting is more important than their own safety and they'd like to help rid us of folks with that confused outlook...then by all means...text away.
  • 4 Hide
    dextermat , September 4, 2012 6:39 PM
    Wow when smart phone make you an idiot
  • -4 Hide
    teh_chem , September 4, 2012 7:23 PM
    Couldn't believe my ears when I heard a news story about some town that was issuing citations for people who were "using" their cell phone while crossing the street--even if entirely legally, in a crosswalk and waiting for crossing signals.

    Generally I would agree with the "natural selection" sentiment, until you're presented with an extreme albeit realistic situation where a distracted pedestrian mindlessly walks into moving traffic where a non-distracted driver swerves out of the way into some other traffic or perhaps another pedestrian, or causes some other horrific accident whilst the distracted pedestrian is ultimately fine and dandy.

    I disagree with the legislation we've heard about so-far, but I would also err on the side of proactive measures rather than reactive measures, and I'd be pretty pissed if a loved one were the collateral damage in the above hypothetical situation. On the other hand, I wholeheartedly DISagree with issuing tickets just because someone is walking around looking at your phone. We're a technologically and socially-integrated society. You can't issue laws directly contradicting the general and accepted way of life and expect anything good to come of it.
  • 6 Hide
    dalethepcman , September 4, 2012 7:36 PM
    Don't make it illegal to use just "thin the herd." Everyone that has ever been to wal-mart knows we need a little more chlorine in the gene pool...

    I'm all for passing legislation that if you get hit by a car while using your cell phone (as a pedestrian or driver) you are automatically at fault, and charged with attempted suicide/manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

    Until the day auto manufacturers build faraday cages / cell jammers into automobiles, or parents start actually parenting again, children will keep doing it. The least we can do is make the poor driver who already has his life ruined for running over someones kid, not also go bankrupt and to jail for 15 years because your kid was too stupid to look before crossing the road.
  • 3 Hide
    CaedenV , September 4, 2012 7:49 PM
    If a smart phone was really smart it would tell you there is a bear in front of you
  • 3 Hide
    azathoth , September 4, 2012 8:04 PM
    I'm tired of seeing about 1 in 5 people on the street completely oblivious to the world around them, fixated on their phones.
  • 1 Hide
    nocteratus , September 4, 2012 9:01 PM
    I don't know how many persons I've crossed that were texting and either walking erratically, riding a bike or driving.

    The worst part it's them yelling at you because they couldn't pay attention of what's happening around them.
  • 0 Hide
    scottiemedic , September 4, 2012 9:08 PM
    I just have to say as a paramedic, that if you called me after injuring yourself while texting, well, you might just get the dumb ass of the year award!!

    Seriously, how hard is it to text and walk??? People like this are A, what keep me in a job and B, need to be weeded out by natural selection for their stupidity!!
  • 2 Hide
    Camikazi , September 4, 2012 9:40 PM
    caedenvIf a smart phone was really smart it would tell you there is a bear in front of you

    The phone is too busy laughing at you to warn you about the bear.
  • 0 Hide
    A Bad Day , September 4, 2012 9:56 PM
    Years ago, one of my sister's friends wreaked his bicycle from colliding with a tree while texting.
  • 2 Hide
    nebun , September 4, 2012 10:35 PM
    what an idiot...really people, can't you take your eyes off your phones and enjoy life for five minutes?...this lady was checking her phone at every light, i wanted to roll my window down and tell her to get a life
  • 2 Hide
    alhanelem , September 4, 2012 11:03 PM
    how hard is it to stand still while texting?
  • 2 Hide
    anti-painkilla , September 4, 2012 11:12 PM
    People never pay attention to their surrounding, like in a supermarket, if someone is blocking the way, they will actually stay there until they move or until you say something.

    I suppose I am different as I have always been taught to be courteous and having headphones in my ears 24/7 growing up, I have learnt to look around every once in a while to make sure I am not in someone or somethings way.

    Also I don't feel the need to instantly reply to all txt messages, because if it was that important, it would be a call.
  • 0 Hide
    beayn , September 4, 2012 11:19 PM
    I solved this by getting rid of my phone. I was having all sorts of billing issues anyway, since the company was trying to scam more money on each and every bill with late charges and overage charges despite them sending the bill AFTER it was due, and the package I was sold wasn't the one I got. Once the contract was up, I was done. Haven't missed it one bit.
  • 0 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , September 5, 2012 4:37 AM
    I wonder how much they spent on this obvious study...
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