Texting and walking is dangerous. Even talking on a cell phone and walking is dangerous.
A new report in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention says that injuries to pedestrians attributed to mobile phone distractions more than doubled from 2010.
The authors even suggest the actual number of distracted pedestrians may be much higher – their research is based only on emergency room visits where the injured person acknowledged their distraction during the accident.
Injuries to pedestrians are on the rise – but car wrecks caused by distractions are on the decline.
I think this indicates that awareness campaigns, and state and local laws targeting distracted driving are working. Consequently, the Oregon legislature is looking at dramatically increasing the penalty for texting while driving.
It might work for distracted driving, but a legislative solution for distracted walking is not practical or likely, although some states legislatures have actually proposed distracted walking bills for specific areas.
Maybe it is time for a campaign on pedestrian safety – end distracted walking. But in the meantime, we live in a fast-paced and often dangerous world.
We need to give it our full attention.