Texting and talking accidents happen more often than you think, and some result in a visit to the emergency room.
According to a new nationwide study, more than 1,500 pedestrians were estimated to be treated in emergency rooms in 2010 for injuries related to using a cell phone while walking.
“If current trends continue, I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of injuries to pedestrians caused by cell phones doubles again between 2010 and 2015,” said Jack Nasar, co-author of the study and professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State University.
“The role of cell phones in distracted driving injuries and deaths gets a lot of attention and rightly so, but we need to also consider the danger cell phone use poses to pedestrians,” he said.
According to a release from Ohio State, the study found that young people aged 16 to 25 were most likely to be injured as distracted pedestrians, and most were hurt while talking rather than texting. The 21- to 25-year-old age group racked up 1,003 injuries over the seven years covered by the study, and the 16- to 20-year-olds had 985.
About 69 percent of injuries were related to talking on the phone and nine percent were related to texting.
Nasar predicts the numbers will continue to grow, but says parents can help reverse the numbers.
“Parents already teach their children to look both ways when crossing the street. They should also teach them to put away their cell phone when walking, particularly when crossing a street,” he said.