A study by Ohio State University shows the dangers of walking and talking on a cell phone. Hundreds of injuries have been reported from distracted pedestrians. Just over 1,000 pedestrians have visited emergency rooms in 2008 because they tripped or ran into something during a cell phone conversation or texting while walking. The New York Times reports on the case o a 16-year-old boy who walked into a telephone pole and suffered a concussion. A 28-year-old man trapped and fractured a finger while he gripped his cell phone. And 68-year-old man fell off his porch while talking on a cell phone.
We think of the dangers of driving while distracted, but the rate of ER visits has doubled from 2007, which doubled from 2006. And consider this – most people injured while walking and talking would not even thing to call it into a hospital if the injury is minor.
Florida is already the most dangerous state for pedestrians, with nine out of the ten most dangerous metro areas in the south, according to Transportation for America. Far too many pedestrians are killed on an annual basis in Florida. With the explosion of personal communications devices, there is no reason to believe that there will be any improvement in the dangerous practice of distracted walking. To help prevent pedestrian accidents in Jacksonville and throughout the state of Florida, please do not use your cell phone while crossing the street or engage in other distractions when doing so.