Walking has become riskier in the last several years. The primary cause? Smartphones.
With smartphones having similar abilities to computers, many feel the need to use them more often. There is even now a name for the fear of being without a cell phone: nomophobia.
Jack Nasar, a professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State University, ran an experiment asking people with and without cellphones to walk around a tricky course. As expected, cellphone users were at greater risk of being hit and injured by a vehicle. Those with cellphones walked slower, changed directions more frequently and were less likely to acknowledge other people.
“Parents already teach their children to look both ways when crossing the street. They should also teach them to put away their cellphone when walking, particularly when crossing a street.” Nasar says.
ICBC says 2,700 pedestrians are injured and 65 killed every year in car crashes. With eyes up and phones down many of these pedestrians would have escaped injury or death.
Feeling too attached to your phone? Dr. Larry Rosen, a California State University psychologist specializing in technology issues, suggests putting your phone down for 15 minutes daily until you no longer feel the need to check your phone as frequently.
For more information:
- All the Ways Your Phone is Messing Up Your Life, In One Chart, The Huffington Post
- Pedestrian injuries due to mobile phone use in public places, Journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention
- Be a safe pedestrian, ICBC
- Injuries to ‘distracted pedestrians’ on the rise with smartphone use, The Windsor Star
- Don’t walk this way, NY Daily News