BALTIMORE (WJZ) — You’ve heard the warnings about texting and driving, but a new federal report shows walking while using your cell phone can be just as deadly.
Marcus Washington has more on the dangers of not watching where you’re walking.
At first glance, the mishaps of a person falling while using their cell phone can be funny, but the number of injuries and even fatalities associated with the act is no laughing matter.
“They’re pretty much strapped to them 24 hours a day,” said Shawn Bair.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, since 2009, there has been a 15 percent increase in pedestrian deaths. The most recent full data recorded is from 2013, where there were more than 4,700 deaths, equaling to one pedestrian killed in the U.S. every two hours.
“I’m sure it was nothing that important that they were doing; probably social networking or just returning a quick text. So that’s kind of sad,” said Bair.
Michelle Lester spoke with WJZ’s Jessica Kartalija about how she stumbled off the road walking to meet with friends.
“I lost my balance because my phone was in my face. It’s nasty,” said Lester. “You’re not paying attention like you should be.”
Many people think walking and using your phone poses no threat, but a recent study shows it does for the person so consumed with their phone that they don’t see the dangers surrounding them.
“They have earbuds, they’re talking on their cell phone, they’re texting on their cell phone. They’re not paying attention to their whereabouts,” said Chrsitine Delise, AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Delise says the best advice for any pedestrian is to put any distraction away.
Washington: “Are you going to think twice before walking and texting or talking on your phone?”
Blair: “Definitely crossing the street. Maybe I won’t do it now. But I think in the mall, I’ll probably still do it. I think the hazards might be a little bit less there.”
We should add–not all pedestrian fatalities were because someone was using their cell phone.
The report also reveals 70 percent of the victims were male.