Navigation Links
Texting While Walking May Be as Dangerous as Texting While Driving

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Almost one in three pedestrians use their cell phones or text while crossing busy streets, which could increase their chances of being hit by a car, a new study says.

Distracted walking, like distracted driving, is becoming an increasing problem and pedestrians need to be educated about the danger of doing so, the researchers added.

"Talking on your cell phone or texting while crossing the street is risky for you and drivers," said lead researcher Dr. Beth Ebel, director of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Washington in Seattle.

"We need to start exercising judgment about when and where to use our electronic devices," she said.

"If the texting person in the car gets into a crash, they know it's their fault," she said. "Texters are not looking before they cross the street, they are not crossing with the light, they are walking more slowly and they are not looking at traffic. They are putting themselves at risk; they are putting the car that hits them at risk."

The first step is to educate people about the danger, Ebel said. Some cities have considered passing laws against using cell phones while crossing streets, she noted.

"As a pedestrian, you do have an obligation for your safety," she said.

The report was published Dec. 12 in the online edition of the journal Injury Prevention.

For the study, Ebel's team observed more than 1,000 people crossing 20 busy intersections in Seattle during the summer of 2012.

Specifically, the researchers looked for activities that could be distracting, such as talking on the phone, texting, listening to music, talking with others or coping with children or pets.

Almost 50 percent of the observations were done between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., and more than half the people seen were between the ages of 25 and 44, the researchers said.

Most of the walkers were alone and crossed when the light was green and at an intersection. Only one in four, however, observed all the safety rules, including looking both ways before crossing, they noted.

Slightly less than 30 percent of the pedestrians were doing something else when crossing the street. Eleven percent were listening to music, 7 percent were texting and 6 percent were talking on the phone, the researchers found.

People distracted by some of these activities took almost a second and a half longer to cross the road. Although listening to music quickened the time it took to cross the road, people were less likely to look both ways before crossing.

People dealing with pets or children were almost three times less likely to look both ways.

Texting, however, was the most risky behavior. People who were doing it took almost two seconds longer to cross the street than those who weren't, the researchers found.

In the United States, accidents involving pedestrians and cars injure more than 60,000 people a year, and kill more than 4,000, the researchers noted.

One expert thinks that although this study didn't account for the role of these distractions in actual injuries or deaths, it stands to reason that distracted walking is potentially dangerous.

"While there are limitations and it is all observational data, this supports common sense and my bias related to distractions while walking," said Dr. Carl Schulman, director of injury prevention education at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

"Of course it can't go so far as to prove that this poor behavior leads to increased crash and injury risk," he said. "But I don't think it takes a leap of faith to get there."

More information

For more on pedestrian safety, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Beth Ebel, M.D., director, Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle; Carl Schulman, M.D., director, injury prevention education, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Dec. 12, 2012, Injury Prevention, online

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. The Tennessee Car Accident Lawyers at Michael D. Ponce & Associates Alert Public of CDC Survey Revealing Majority of High School Seniors Admitting to Texting Behind Wheel
2. 1 in 3 Teens Admits to Texting While Driving
3. Texting in College Classrooms Common, Distracting
4. Mexican paradox: While opinion surveys overestimate abortions 10-fold, abortion mortality clearly decreases
5. Many patients who die while awaiting liver transplant have had donor organs declined
6. You Can Learn While You Sleep, Study Suggests
7. Smoking increases, while alcohol consumption may decrease risk of ALS
8. Clemson researchers collect and reuse enzymes while maintaining bioactivity
9. Standing at Work All Day While Pregnant Linked to Smaller Babies
10. Learn that tune while fast asleep
11. More Than Half of Resident Docs Have Worked While Sick: Study
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Texting While Walking May Be as Dangerous as Texting While Driving
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Lutronic, a leading innovator of aesthetic and medical ... the devices for sale in the United States. Clarity is a Superior Dual ... Nd:YAG lasers, into a single platform that is easy to own and operate. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... SACC-USA through membership and leadership since 2008. Gary Bruce, President of PartnerTech North ... Gary has spent a significant amount of time in Sweden since joining PartnerTech ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... SonaCare Medical congratulates the University ... Innovation Award on November 18th. This prestigious award recognizes annually organizations that cultivate ... to the medical landscape. , The UCLH team won the award for their ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... Trevor and Taylor Crabb have unveiled an exciting new campaign ... the United States. This hybrid crowdfunding campaign is designed to provide the ... addition to offering corporate sponsors with some great marketing deliverables with the brothers for ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Garden City, NY (PRWEB) , ... December 01, ... ... (NAPW) honors Dale Jones as a 2015-2016 inductee into its ... for leadership in education. NAPW is the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... UPPSALA, Sweden , December 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG, Bern ... Brussels ) to be part of a state of ... new cancer drug.  --> --> ... breast cancer being treated with anti-hormonal therapy in combination with ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... December 1, 2015 Biovicas ... Study Group (IBCSG, Bern ) ... i en klinisk studie av palbociclib, ett nytt ... --> Studien, med namn PYTHIA, kommer följa ... läkemedel i kombination med palbociclib, som tillhör klassen ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015 Researchers have ... measures body part thickness and checks for motion, positioning ... a feasibility study presented today at the annual meeting ... (RSNA). Steven Don , M.D., ... Washington University School of Medicine in St. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: