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Distracted walking leads to more pedestrian injuries

Karns & Kerrison

Pedestrian accidents can result in very serious and even fatal injuries in Rhode Island. While many pedestrian accidents happen due to motorists being distracted behind the wheel, more pedestrians are also becoming distracted and may be getting hurt as a result.

A study reported that there are roughly two million injuries every year in the U.S. caused by pedestrians walking and texting or using their cellphone. The practice has become so common that researchers and safety groups have started calling it "distracted walking."

A new study found that male pedestrians under the age of 30 were more likely to be injured in pedestrian accidents caused by cellphone use. The researchers looked at data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System from the last six years and found that many more pedestrians are being injured or killed while using their cellphones.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reported that 4,430 pedestrians were in fatal accidents in 2011, which is an eight percent increase from 2009. The NHTSA also said that 14 percent of fatalities in 2011 were pedestrians, and that every eight minutes a pedestrian is injured in the U.S.

Statistics show that pedestrians are more likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries now than they were in the past and this is mainly due to the increase use of cellphones and electronic devices. It is not safe for pedestrians to use cellphones and other electronic devices while walking because they are focusing on their phones instead of on traffic.

Pedestrians need to be aware of traffic and obey traffic lights and signs to reduce the risk of being hit by a vehicle or walking into something that may cause an injury. Pedestrians need to be aware of their surroundings at all times and put their cellphone away while walking to keep themselves safe and free of injuries. 

Source: Chico ER, "Using your cellphone while walking could have deadly consequences," Zen Vuong, Aug. 9, 2013


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