Texting While Walking: Dangerous?

53TorkLaw’s DON’T BE A DUMMY CAMPAIGN raises awareness about the dangers of texting while driving. We want Southern California drivers to know that using mobile devices while driving can increase the risk of a car accident that could result in injury or even death.

New research suggests that texting or using a cell phone while merely walking down the street can also be hazardous to your health. In a 2011 report, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that 1,152 people were injured while walking and using an electronic device. These pedestrians required treatment in hospital emergency rooms for their injuries.

Insurance company survey

Last month, a national insurance company released the results of a survey of 1,000 people who described their texting and walking habits. More than half of those surveyed admitted to using their smart phones while crossing streets. In addition, 60 percent of pedestrians walk while they text, email, talk on the phone and listen to music. Three out of five pedestrians admit that they realize their cell phone habits could be dangerous, but they have no plans to change their behavior. Based on the survey results, it is almost certain that insurance companies will try to assign blame to injured pedestrians who were using their smart phones when they were injured.

When you text, email or talk on your phone, your attention is focused on the task at hand, not on your surroundings. When you use earbuds or headphones to listen to music while you’re walking, you may block out traffic noise that can warn you when an accident is about to happen.

It makes sense to take a break when you need to use your smart phone so you can be completely aware of all the hazards around you as you walk through city streets and suburban parking lots.

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