Put down that smart phone and walk — that’s the advice from researchers who say distracted pedestrians are being injured and killed at an alarming rate.
Almost all of us do it at some time or another — check that text message, spin through that music playlist, or fire off that e-mail, as we’re walking somewhere.
We laugh about it, but new statistics show it’s risky business.
Pedestrian deaths in this country have gone up 4.2 percent and injuries by 19 percent. Distracted walking sent more than 1,100 people to the emergency room.
The Internet is full of clips showing people bashing into walls, tripping down stairs, or falling into fountains. More serious was what happened to a main at a Philadelphia train station. He was distracted and fell on the tracks, but lucky for him no train was approaching at the time.
The problem is how the human brain works. Researchers say that we’re only capable of really fully focusing on one thing at a time, so it’s the world around us or that text message or video game in our hands. This is when our attention becomes very narrow and it turns an already busy world into that much more dangerous a place.