Using your cell phone while walking may make you vulnerable to injuries, according to a new study. About 1,500 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms across the nation in 2010 because of this growing distraction, according to a HealthDay report about the study.

The study, conducted at Ohio State University, shows that cell phones are not just a danger to drivers. Pedestrians also put themselves in potentially hazardous situations when they are more focused on electronic devices than their physical surroundings.

Jack Nasar, a professor of city and regional planning at the university and author of the study, concludes that even a simple stroll with a cell phone can be unsafe. He and his colleagues had reported in a previous study that people who walk on public streets while using their cell phones are more likely to have risky encounters with motor vehicles. Nasar’s newest study takes distracted walking to a national level by analyzing a federal database of emergency room visits between 2004 and 2010.

The estimated number of pedestrian injuries involving cell phones, even those that didn’t include cars, varied from 256 in 2004 to 597 in 2007. The injuries then jumped to 1,055 in 2008, 1,113 in 2009 and 1,506 in 2010.

The study showed that young people were more likely to sustain injuries while walking and using a cell phone. Pedestrians between the ages of 21 and 25 had the most injuries, followed by people between the ages of 16 and 20. Furthermore, men accounted for 53 percent of those injured.

Weaknesses in the Study

There are some weaknesses in the conclusions. First, it is impossible to determine how many of the injuries may have been avoided if the pedestrians were not using cell phones.

Also, the study does not investigate whether the increase in injuries over the years is simply because more people use cell phones. Furthermore, it is difficult to know if cell phone use is the actual cause of accidents among pedestrians or just associated with them in some way.

Despite these flaws, the study still raises caution flags about the risks of multi-tasking.

Need Legal Help?

Dangerous distractions don’t just happen to drivers. Pedestrians can also be susceptible to motor vehicle accidents if they’re focused on electronic devices instead of where they are walking.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a South Carolina automobile accident because of somebody else’s negligence, contact our South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm.

Whether you need guidance on accidents involving distracted drivers, reckless driving or some other type of car crash, call 855-565-3563 or use our online form so our attorneys can offer you advice about your rights.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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