We have all seen people using cell phones as they walk. Whether they are moving along outside or making their way through a shopping mall, they clearly do not want to part from their devices.
A 2013 university study compiled data on the number of pedestrians treated in emergency rooms for injuries they suffered while using their cell phones. However, researchers suspect the number is on the low side.
Joining the “walking distracted”
The study, conducted by researchers at the Ohio State University, analyzed data derived from injury reports provided by 100 hospitals nationwide, as maintained by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. It showed that more than 1,500 pedestrians were injured in 2010 due to using their mobile phones while walking. The results indicate that young people 21 to 25 years of age are the most likely to be among the “walking distracted,” while the 16-to-20-year-olds are right behind.
A variety of injuries show up in the report. For example, a 14-year-old boy talking on a cell phone fell off a bridge and suffered chest and shoulder injuries. A 23-year-old man hurt his hip when struck by a car as he was walking down the center of a road, talking on his cell phone.
More injured walkers suspected
The number of pedestrians treated in emergency rooms due to cell phone-related injuries has risen every year since 2005. However, the researchers believe there are many more such injuries than those reported. In the first place, not everyone who is injured while walking mentions they were using a cell phone. Accidents involving drivers and cell phone use receive much more attention from journalists and researchers alike than walker-cell phone accidents.
Despite the “walking distracted” label, a pedestrian using a cell phone is not always to blame for an accident in which he or she is injured. A personal injury lawyer will confirm that each case is unique. There are two sides to every story, and injured pedestrians deserve an advocate who will seek to protect their rights.