By now, everyone has heard of distracted driving. While distracted driving has been around probably since the first car hit the road, it has become even more of a concern as technology has placed more and more gadgets into our hands that should be on the steering wheel when we are driving. Even something as commonplace as the radio in the car can cause a driver’s eyes to leave the road long enough to cause a car accident. Navigational systems are so handy when you are lost or attempt to take a detour to avoid a traffic delay, but they can take your attention off the road as well. And of course, there is the ever-present cell phone, tempting us to talk, text, email and surf as we are driving down the road.
Numerous groups have done everything in their powers to make people aware of the dangers of using the cellphone while driving. Some places have made it illegal to talk on a handheld device while driving, and many others have laws against texting while driving. But how about those individuals that use their electronic devices while walking?
The Associated Press reports that the number of hospital visits attributed to pedestrian accidents caused by walking while distracted has quadrupled in the last seven years. And they believe the number is probably even greater because not all cases are reported. While some distracted walkers simply bump into another walker or trip over something and catch themselves, others are putting themselves in very dangerous situations. Last year, a Philadelphia man was distracted by his cellphone conversation and fell off a train platform. Luckily he was pulled to safety before a train approached. In a study in Maryland, they found that 116 pedestrians lost their lives or suffered serious injuries while walking with headphones on.