According to Safety.com, texting while walking has become such an issue that several states have begun to implement laws that ban it. Though Alabama is not one of those states, recent findings suggest that it should take its cues from New York and other states with bans on the behavior.
According to the report, nearly 5,000 pedestrians died in traffic collisions in 2012 and another 76,000 sustained reportable injuries. That amounts to one death every two hours and one injury every seven minutes. Though it is unclear as to how many accidents were the result of distracted walking, the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities only grows each year. This leads researchers to believe that texting and walking play a large role in pedestrian accidents.
Scientists attribute the increasing rates of pedestrian accidents to a phenomenon called “inattentive blindness.” This phenomenon states that the human brain has evolved to only be able to focus on one task at a time. Though many people think they are capable of multitasking, what they are actually doing is switching rapidly between tasks. When one texts and walks, he or she cannot give his or her full attention to either task. A 2012 New York Stony Brook University study on the phenomenon found that participants who texted and walked at the time were 60% more likely to veer off course than non-texters.
Safety.com details common injuries associated with distracted walking. Those include trips, sprains, strains, broken bones, fractures, cuts, bruises, brain injuries, concussions, spinal cord injuries and even death. Distracted walkers also put others at risk.
This article is not meant to serve as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.