11May 2016

What do you get when you cross a pedestrian and a mobile device? A pedtextrian.

And an accident waiting to happen…

Mobile phones and other electronic devices have become so commonplace, it’s hard to imagine how we ever got along without them. They are essential to our work and personal lives by helping us ‘get it all done’. We might think we’ve mastered the art of multi-tasking by texting or talking on our mobile devices while walking—because after all, that certainly has to be safer than doing it while driving, right? But the truth is, our brains can only perform one task at a time so all we are really achieving is distracted walking, which is just as dangerous as distracted driving.

According to the National Safety Council, slips, trips, and falls are the most frequent injuries resulting from distracted walking, and they are on the rise in the workplace. Wearing earbuds, listening to music, reading texts or emails, watching a video, or talking on your mobile phone while walking can have the same serious, if not fatal, consequences as distracted driving.

Be pedtextrian-safe

You don’t have to be behind the wheel to be at risk. Here’s how to stay safe if you have to use mobile devices while you are walking:

  • Lower the volume. Maintain it at a level so you can still hear sounds through your headphones or electronic device.
  • Stay alert. Always be aware of your surroundings. Notice people, objects, and obstacles around you.
  • Watch where you’re going. Be extra careful when approaching curbs, stairs or escalators.
  • Be seen. Make eye contact with drivers when you step into a crosswalk, even if you have the green light.

Or better yet, let’s hang up, put it down, look up, and pay attention where we’re walking.

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