Magazine article USA TODAY

Cell Phone Use Not Just Dangerous for Drivers

Magazine article USA TODAY

Cell Phone Use Not Just Dangerous for Drivers

Article excerpt

More than 1,500 pedestrians were estimated to have been treated in emergency rooms in a recent 12-month period for injuries related to using a cell phone while walking, according to a nationwide study published in Accident Analysis and Prevention. The number of such injuries has more than doubled in five years, even though the amount of pedestrian injuries dropped during that time.

"If current trends continue, I wouldn't be surprised if the number of injuries to pedestrians caused by cell phones doubles again," asserts city and regional planner Jack Nasar. coauthor of the study. "The role of cell phones in distracted driving injuries and deaths gets a lot of attention, and rightly so. but we need to also consider the danger cell phone use poses to pedestrians."

The study found that young people aged 16 to 25 were most likely to be injured as distracted pedestrians, and most were hurt while talking rather than texting. The researchers used data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. a database maintained by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, which samples injury reports from hospitals around the country.

Nasar believes the number of injuries to distracted pedestrians actually is much higher than these statistics suggest. …

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