A woman who reportedly was busy texting on her smartphone was tragically run over and killed by a trolley car in Moscow, Russia.
Authorities all over the world have warned of the dangers of distracted driving, but distracted walking has also emerged as a serious issue. According to HealthLine, the popularity of Pokemon Go has even increased the danger of pedestrians getting hurt while texting, talking, or listening to music on their smartphones.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, an Ohio State University study indicated that an estimated 1,500 people were treated in 2010 in emergency rooms after walking directly into the path of traffic, blindly stepping off a bridge, or wandering headlong into a lamppost, a big increase over prior years. The majority of accident prone cellphone users were those under the age of 31. Strollers 21 to 25 sustained the most injuries followed up by 16- to 20-year olds. Fifty-three percent of victims were male. Between 2004 and 2007, ER visits varied from 256 to 597. The numbers then jumped to 1,055 in 2008, 1,113 in 2009 and 1,506 in 2010, perhaps due to the increase in cell phone ownership and use.
Tomo News describes what happened to the texter on the Moscow street in this tragic incident.
“Surveillance video has captured the moment a woman, distracted by her smartphone, was killed when she walked into the path of a streetcar in Moscow. The unidentified woman was seen looking down on her smartphone as she crossed the track on Rusakovskaya Street. When the woman realized what was about to transpire, it was too late. The tram was emerging from under a railway bridge. Video inside the tram showed the driver, an elderly woman, slamming on her breaks as soon as she saw the pedestrian. The driver is also seen opening the tram door and to get out and help the woman. The woman was taken to a nearby hospital, but died soon afterwards.”
The state of New Jersey is considering a law that would impose jail time on walking texters. Violators could wind up spending 15 days behind pay, hit with a $50 fine, or both, assuming the legislature ever passed the law and sent it to the governor’s desk.
According to a 2015 report from the Governors Highway Safety Foundation, pedestrian deaths — in part due to texting — increased 15 percent as of the year 2013. “Nearly two million pedestrian injuries were related to cellphone use, the report said,” Philly.com detailed. “Researchers say distracted walkers are more likely to ignore traffic lights or fail to look both ways before crossing the street.”
Based on Consumer Product Safety Commission data, the Wall Street Journal claims that “emergency room visits involving distracted pedestrians using cellphones were up 124% in 2014 from 2010—and up 10-fold from 2006.”
Because of smartphone addition, the WSJ added that municipal officials are taking steps to warn multitasking pedestrians that they need to stay alert.
“Better urban planning could help. Some towns and college campuses have put ‘look up’ signs in dangerous stairwells and intersections. Announcements in Hong Kong’s subways advise passengers, ‘Don’t keep your eyes only on your mobile phone.’ New York City reduced speeds for cars, and San Francisco has been making more busy corridors pedestrian-only, partly in response to walkers looking at their phones. Last fall, road signs appeared in Stockholm, warning cars about texting pedestrians.”
About distracted walking, the Safe Kids Worldwide nonprofit organization maintains that “Teens account for 50 percent of all pedestrian deaths among kids ages 19 and under. And injuries among older teens are on the rise — an increase of 25 percent over the previous five years…It only takes a few seconds while typing on your cell phone to become distracted. That’s why it’s so important to put your devices down when crossing the street.”
Are you a distracted walker?
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