It is not surprising that using cell phones can be hazardous to your health -even deadly- . Texting and talking on cell phones while driving contributed to more than 25% of driving accidents in 2012 (that equals out to 1.3 million car accidents.) In addition, fatalities caused by cell-phone use while driving exceed deaths cause by intoxication and driving by hundreds.
It seems that now cell phone use poses numerous health risks to pedestrians as well. A recent study performed on the hazards of cell phone use claims that more than 1,500 Americans were seen in emergency rooms in 2011 as a direct result of injuries acquired by talking or texting on their cell phones while walking.
Ohio State Professor, Jack Nasar the author of the study’s findings published in the “Journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention” states emphatically to the public:
“Stop walking when you’re going to take a cellphone call or text. Don’t do two things at once.”
Researchers perused a large federal-level database that documented ER visits from 2004-2010 of Americans whose injuries were pedestrian in nature and then deducted which percentages were cell-phone use induced and related from there. Researchers did not include any deaths that they found, however Nasar reported that pedestrians who use cell phones while walking on public streets are more likely to risk injuries by run-ins with vehicles.
As the years progressed links to injuries reported via the ER with cell phone use doubled from 2004 to 2010 with the highest rates being 1,506 in the final year they studied. The study also pinpointed these following facts:
- Individuals under 31 were more likely to sustain injuries from using their cell phones while walking.
- Those individuals ages 21-25 reported the most incidents and injuries cause by pedestrian cell phone use.
- Men were the gender that suffered the most reported injuries sustained while using cell phones and walking.
As for what actions should be taken to prevent injuries from occurring in people who text and drive or talk on their cell phone while they walk- study author Nasar suggests bringing more awareness to the public. However on this note he also does not think that the same harsh actions taken for driving and texting, should be enforced by laws that prohibit walking and using a cell phone.