Monday, January 7, 2013

Texting while Walking is Hazardous, Says Study

Texting while walking | los angeles personal injury

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At this day and age, life is incomplete if people don’t have their smartphones on their hands or pockets. Such gadgets have features that keep people preoccupied. On a certain standpoint, having smartphones shows that people are keeping pace with the times and that they always want to become updated wherever they may be.

Smartphones indeed are boredom killers. People always want to engage themselves in socializing with others through phone calls, text messaging, and through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Yes, our technology has reached far and beyond since the first mobile phone was introduced in the market.

But then, smartphones are not without its disadvantages. In fact, they are often seen as a form of distraction. No, it is not only about distracted driving, as many people often associate smartphones with. Pedestrians, too, are also at risk of getting distracted with their smartphones while they travel on foot within the city.

In a study published in Injury Prevention entitled “The Impact of Social and Technological Distraction on Pedestrian Crossing Behaviour” by the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center at the University of Washington, pedestrians using gadgets are four times more likely to do the following:

•    Ignore pedestrian traffic lights;
•    Cross the middle of the junction; or
•    Fail to look to the left and to the right before crossing the street.

Moreover, the study found out that 18 percent of the 1,000 pedestrians who took part in the study took almost two seconds longer to cross a junction of three to four lanes. Also, the study found that talking to others, as well as dealing with pets or children, increase the pedestrian’s chances of unsafe crossing on the road.

According to the researchers, pedestrian crashes kill about 4,000 people and injure around 60,000 more annually in the U.S. Truly, distracted walking is as potentially dangerous as distracted driving, with those using mobile gadgets more likely to be involved in a serious or fatal accident.

Incidentally, expert lawyers such as the Los Angeles personal injury lawyer advice all regular pedestrians to avoid using smartphones and other related devices while walking.


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