Authors of a recent study report substantial differences in the gait of young adults who text while they walk when compared to their stride when not texting.
The findings, published in the December 2014 issue of the Journal of Applied Biomechanics, indicate that among the thirty young adults tested, texting on cell phones as they walked affected their walking speed, the width of their step and double stance time increased, as toe clearance, step length, and cadence diminished.
While the researchers concede that many of these spatial and temporal parameter changes coincide with a slowed gait, attempting to negotiate the complex cognitive task of texting while walking would certainly accentuate the adverse effects. Compounding the reduced gait velocity with a lessened awareness of one’s surroundings implies that simultaneously texting while walking is dangerous, and greatly increase your risk of injury.
Likely injuries to pedestrians using cell phones could include:
- Tripping injuries due to reduced toe clearance
- Stepping on precarious surfaces or striking objects in close proximity due to increased step width
Pedestrians who are struck by cars could sustain far worse injuries, including fractured bones and head injuries when they strike the vehicle’s windshield.
Pedestrian Cell Phone Injuries
In the United States, the number of pedestrians injured while using their cell phones has steadily increased since 2006. As a matter of fact, one recent Ohio State University study found that 1,500 pedestrians were sent to emergency rooms across the United States to receive treatment for smartphone-related injuries in 2010, almost tripling since 2004, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that texting distractions were a possible contributing factor in the 4,280 pedestrian fatalities recorded for 2010, a four percent increase over the previous year. As substantial as the problem is, some experts believe information about pedestrian texting behaviors are underreported because people are embarrassed.
Texting while walking is particularly dangerous because the activity causes all three types of distractions:
- Manual- the physical act of performing a task other than walking
- Visual- looking at something else other than immediate surroundings
- Cognitive- thinking about something else besides walking safely
The issue has become such a problem, that, according to Time.com, lawmakers in at least five states have attempted to pass laws that address distracted walking. In fact, pedestrian texting accidents account for more injuries per mile than distracted driving.
Contact Our Pueblo Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love is injured in a pedestrian accident in Pueblo, you need an experienced Pueblo personal injury lawyer on your side from the start. Call Pueblo attorneys at Smith & Smith, today for a FREE CONSULTATION – (719) 544-0062.