With mobile phones more prevalent than ever, we as a society are becoming increasingly attached to our electronic devices. By now, we’ve likely all heard about the dangers of texting while driving. But a new report discusses how pedestrians in the process of texting can also cause serious injuries to themselves and others.
Although many incidents of distracted walkers can come across as quite humorous, as evidenced by a video found at the link above in which a pedestrian almost walks into a bear, it doesn’t take much for a humorous situation to turn downright tragic. Pedestrian fatalities rose by 4.2% in 2010, and officials think distracted walking might be to blame. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that an injury caused by pedestrian distraction forced 1,152 people to go to the emergency room last year alone.
Although the problem continues to grow, legislators seem none too keen on cracking down on the practice. In Salt Lake City, the Transit Authority attempted to drum up support for a $50 fine for those texting along their light rail system, but lawmakers were largely nonplussed by the effort and quickly voted it down.
One city took a more tongue-in-cheek approach to the problem. Philadelphia recently installed an e-lane among city streets that could be used by all those persons who wanted to text while walking. The catch? The lane was placed on April Fool’s Day and was not meant to be serious.
Commuters expressed dismay when the lane was taken away.