Walking While Texting, Like Driving While Texting, Puts Pedestrians at Risk of Accident, Injury or Death
Research shows that pedestrians, similar to drivers, experience reduced situation awareness, distracted attention and unsafe behavior when talking or texting on their mobile phones, as reported in a study published in the August issue of Accident Analysis & Prevention that centered on injuries related to mobile phone use among pedestrians. Using data from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission on injuries suffered in motor vehicle accidents that required treatment in hospital emergency rooms from 2004 through 2010, the study found that injuries to pedestrians using mobile phones increased in numbers and as a percentage of total pedestrian injuries from 2004 to 2010.
The study found that the number of injuries increased yearly during that time, to 1,506 in 2010 from 559 in 2004. In 2010, the number of pedestrian injuries exceeded those for drivers using cell phones.
The damage ranged from minor to serious — abrasions, sprains, concussions, seizures and fractures.
Other findings included:
• For cell-phone related injuries, the increase for pedestrians parallel that for drivers.
• Pedestrian injuries related to mobile phone use were higher for men than women.
• Pedestrian injuries related to mobile phone use were higher for young people. Over the six years, about two-thirds of those injured were younger than 25.
This study had results similar to the ones found by researchers watching1,102 Seattle pedestrians at 20 high-risk intersections during randomly assigned times found that nearly one in three people crossing the street at high-risk intersections was distracted by use of a mobile device.