Have you ever been walking on a street, checking a text message, when suddenly you bump into another person or an object? We’ve all been guilty of this at one point another, and most of us just laugh it off as being clumsy.
But smartphone distraction is becoming a problem for hospitals around the country.
In 2012, Pew Research Center conducted a survey that showed 23% of cell phone owners had physically bumped into objects and other people because they were distracted by their phones. 50% said they had been bumped by someone who was not paying attention.
This problem has grown rapidly, particularly in high-traffic urban areas.
“It’s one thing to be at home working on your desk top or laptop computer and be distracted,” said Dr. Larry Rosen, a Professor of Psychology at California State University. “It’s quite another to be walking in the middle of a busy intersection and be distracted.”
Smartphone distraction is now causing people to get hit by cars, walk off piers and run into other people.
“It is a detriment to our health and safety,” said Rosen.
Last April, Liberty Mutual Insurance conducted a survey of more than 1,000 people. Of those surveyed, 60% admitted to using their cell phones while walking. 70% of those people acknowledged this behavior could increase their chances of getting hit by a car.
Isn’t it time we put our smartphones away to protect ourselves and others? If you feel compelled to check a text message or flip through the music on your phone, stop moving until the action is complete. It’s not just a matter of convenience anymore. It’s become a matter of safety.