Number of "Distracted Walking" Injuries Quadruples In Seven Years. Is This A Problem?

A story is making the rounds about the problem of people being injured due to "distracted walking." the LA Times reports:

America, we have got a problem. It is called "distracted walking" and while it occasionally makes for hilarious online video bloopers, it is also posing a real danger to the people of our great nation. The number of people who have landed in U.S. emergency rooms thanks to injuries incurred while they were walking and texting, tweeting, playing video games, talking on the phone, or listening to music on headphones, has more than quadrupled in the past seven years, the Associated Press reports.

© mmc group

We covered this story in January, when it last came out. (See Pedestrians Killed While Wearing Headphones are Car Magnets Who Deserve What They Get, New Study Confirms) We noted then, that the number of people "walking and texting, tweeting, playing video games, talking on the phone, or listening to music on headphones" has gone up seven to ten times in the same period, so the actual rate of cars taking out texters and tweeters has gone down.

Delaware /Public Domain

Once again, blaming the victim.

What is really going on here is more blaming the victim. As the poster says, "Drivers aren't always looking out for you." Why not? Pedestrians are distracted all the time; I like to look at buildings. My wife reads books while she walks the dog. We are entitled to do this and we can't hurt anyone. But drivers can.

If we lived in a world where pedestrians were recognized as part of the transportation system instead of just people either looking for their cars or too poor to own one, we might all see this for the joke that it is.

Tags: Cities | Urban Life | Urban Planning | Walking

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