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Distracted Walkers: The Next Texting Danger

Distracted Walkers: The Next Texting Danger

Two of our favorite cartoons poke fun at a serious and growing danger: Distracted walking. In one drawing, a man is walking across the street, texting. As he passes a Men at Work sign, he steps right into an open manhole. The caption below reads Natural selection at work. Another illustration of texting dangers shows an anthropological chart. They usually depict man’s evolution into an upright, walking being. But the caption on this one, instead of saying The Ascent of Man, reads The Descent of Man, and the last image is of a hunched-over human form, texting.

Related: How to Prevent Muscle Strains While Texting

According to some reports over the last seven years, texting dangers have become more serious. The number of pedestrians who have gotten hit while crossing the street because of “distracted walking” and landed in the emergency room has quadrupled. And some estimates put the actual number at more than twice that, because many incidents go unreported. We do know there’s been a spike in the number of pedestrian fatalities.

Related: How to find Pedestrian-Safe Walking Routes

Now, we could suggest that you pay more attention while you cross the street—but you have to take responsibility for keeping your chin up and being alert. What we can do point out that the neck-bent, shoulders-slumped posture that goes along with texting and walking is a trigger for headaches, shallow breathing and shoulder and neck pain. What’s more your entire balance system is compromised and you’re likely to injure yourself in a stumble. So the next time you start to walk and text, stop. Just pull over, look up, and find a place where it’s safe for everyone to communicate. 

Related: Is Your iPad a Pain in the Neck?

Medically reviewed in March 2020.

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