Walk Safely - Mobile Devices Distract Pedestrians

With Mother’s Day coming up, (here’s your reminder to call your mom) let’s sit back and recall something that Mom said so many times: Look both ways before crossing the street. This good advice stands true today. But, let’s take it one step further into the twenty-first century and ask, “How are you going to look both ways when you’re looking at your phone?”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 1,500 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms in 2012 as a result of being injured while walking and engaged in cell phone conversations, which is more than twice the number reported in 2005. That number is likely to rise as cell phone usage increases. 

Texting, talking on the phone, checking email, playing games, listening to music or podcasts with headphones, and using social networking apps are common, modern distractions that can lead to slips, trips, and falls, or worse, a traffic accident with a motor vehicle. Pedestrians are far safer and more able to avoid injury when they’re aware of traffic lights, obstacles, and the vehicles around them. 

So, let’s remember to not only look both ways (Left-Right-then Left again) when crossing the street, but to put our phones away as we walk. That way, when you call your mom this Sunday, you won’t be telling her about your trip to the ER and your new crutches. 

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