Injuries and deaths related to sending text messages at inappropriate times is on the rise. Activities like walking, driving, biking or travelling on in-line skates are all being done now while texting.
Many young adults and teens are arriving in emergency departments with serious and sometimes fatal injuries because they were not paying attention while texting.
People are texting and they trip and fall on their faces. Many face, chin, mouth (and) eye injuries from falls are becoming commonplace. Worse injuries result when people are texting and are then involved in collisions with bikers and people on rollerblades.
Two deaths tied to texting accidents
Most injuries involve minor scrapes, cuts and sprains from texters who walked into lampposts or walls or tripped over curbs.
Even so, ER doctors who responded to a recent informal questionnaire reported two deaths – both in California. A San Francisco woman was killed by a pickup truck when she stepped off a curb while texting, and a Bakersfield man was killed last year by a car while crossing the street and texting.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission does not have a national estimate for how common texting-related injuries are. Since 2005, however, the agency has received at least seven reports of serious texting mishaps. This includes a 15-year-old girl who fell off her horse while texting and a 13-year-old girl who suffered injuries after texting her boyfriend while cooking noodles.
Other reports include a 39-year-old man who suffered a head injury after crashing into a tree on his bicycle while texting and a 16-year-old boy who suffered a concussion because he was texting while walking and walked into a telephone pole.
Apparently a street in London is experimenting with applying protective padding to lampposts, to protect pedestrians who have a habit of walking into them while focusing on their mobile phones. The protective padding will start at London’s East-End in the iconic Brick Lane. This is where the highest incidents of ‘walking and texting’ injuries in the country have been reported.
Advice for Texters:
–Don’t text or use a cellphone while performing any physical activities that require attention.
–Never text or use a hand-held cellphone while driving or motorcycling.
–Avoid becoming distracted by rummaging through purses, backpacks or clothing. Keep cellphones and BlackBerrys in easily accessible locations.
–Ignore the call or message if it might interfere with concentration during activities that require attention.