Report highlights dangers of texting while walking
SafeKids group releases report
MADISON, Wis. — Many people have heard the warnings about texting while driving, but now research shows that texting can be a dangerous move for pedestrians.
New research released in a report from the nonprofit SafeKids shows pedestrian injuries among older teens and young adults increased 25 percent in recent years.
“I see a lot of people on their cellphones, talking on their cellphones, texting and walking. Sometimes you see people bumping into each other,” said Dayna Renee, who was playing guitar on Library Mall at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The report doesn’t break down how many injuries were from using mobile devices. But 75 percent of children ages 12 to 17 own cellphones, which is up from 45 percent in 2004.
“Our generation, we’re so used to having technology,” said high school student Shartierra Walson. “You could never go out without your phone. It’s like your life.”16771070
Students said text-related distracted walking seems to be everywhere.
“The one (woman), she was texting and she fell into the fountain,” said high school student Diamond Moore. “That video, it’s viral. It’s hilarious because she wasn’t watching where she was going and she just … Pshhh!”
“I’m not surprised,” said Walson. “People act like their cellphone is their entire life, so whatever text message or phone call, they got to stop their entire world and concentrate on that.”
The common sense remedy may take time to resonate, but the hope is to drive the statistics down as more in the crowd look up from their mobile devices while walking.
Some communities around the country have even passed “texting while walking” laws.
But the challenge in collecting data is that in many cases where a pedestrian is injured, the use of a mobile device is rarely reported.
The study from SafeKids.org can be found here: www.safekids.org/walkingsafely.