Remember when we used to joke about people who can’t chew gum and walk at the same time? Today if you can’t safely walk, talk and text, you could literally find yourself in a hospital–that’s if you’re lucky enough to make it. With the popularity of smart phones and our favorite mobile apps chiming in for our attention, people are carelessly walking, talking and reading their smartphones while on foot and getting themselves hurt or killed in record numbers.
A young man recently fell to his death off a steep cliff near a popular San Diego, California scenic overlook when he became distracted by his electronic device.
Pedestrians in particular are in real danger near any kind of traffic. Fox News recently reported a disturbing trend—that distracted walking is killing someone every two hours in the United States. Fox also reported eight distracted pedestrians were killed in New York in the course of just one week recently. These distracted walkers are now called pe-text-rians, a term taken from the urban dictionary.
Distracted walkers make excuses for their behavior such as: I can easily multi-task and do two things at once, or I want to use my time more productively, so I read my email when I’m walking, or I’ve got one eye on the screen and the other on where I’m going, so it’s not a problem.
For some, who may be more aware of their surroundings than other, perhaps they can go through life without incident. But for that guy we joke about not being able to walk and chew gum at the same time… how many of them are out there? He or she could literally walk in front of you while you’re driving without realizing they were veering into traffic on foot.
The reality is that accidents happen to people with best of intentions. Yes, even to you people who are good at multitasking. We just need to face it that in this digital age, we all need to walk and drive with attention as the priority.
The bottom line, watch where you’re going before you kill yourself or someone else. Pe-text-trian behavior is becoming a serious problem. Now you know… so don’t become a statistic.