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Study Finds Cell Phone Use Contributes to More ER Visits, Georgia Pedestrian Injuries

Maybe you are walking to work, school, the store, or for leisure when your cell phone vibrates to alert you that you have a text message. What do you do? While you should wait to respond to the text message once you have reached your destination or only look at your phone when you reach a safe stopping point, many pedestrians participate in distracted walking by texting while walking in Georgia. 

Could it be that pedestrians are more concerned with their phones, what people are saying on Facebook, or texting someone right back that they put their own safety on the line? It appears to be the case. According to a recent study, pedestrians are becoming more likely to be injured while using their cell phones. In fact, 1,500 pedestrians in 2010 were treated for injuries in emergency rooms across this nation. 

The study, “Pedestrian Injuries Due to Mobile Phone Use in Public Places,” reveals what many have already known—cell phone use doesn’t just endanger drivers. Pedestrians who use cell phones put themselves in danger, as well. When people walking through parking lots or crossing the street look down at their phones instead of at the cars near them, they are much more likely to have a close call or be injured in a pedestrian accident.

Study author Jack Nasar advises pedestrians to, “Stop walking when you’re going to take a cellphone, call, or text. Don’t do two things at once.” Nasar, a professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State University, who studies cell phones and distractions, along with other researchers, looked at the federal database of emergency room visits from 2004 to 2010 and found the following results:

  • Pedestrians under the age of 31 were most likely to be hurt while walking and using a cell phone
  • Pedestrians between 21 and 25 years of age have sustained the most injuries, followed by those between the ages of 16 and 20 
  • Men were more likely than women to be injured as pedestrians  

Between 2004 and 2007, the number of pedestrian injuries linked to cell phones ranged as low as 256 to as high as 597; however, in 2008, the number of pedestrian injuries spiked to 1,055 and continued to increase. In 2009, 1,113 emergency room visits were linked to pedestrian injuries and cell phones and 1,506 in 2010. Perhaps the increase in injuries and ER visits coincides with the increase in cell phone ownership.

The study indicates that distraction-causing cell phone use is causing more and more pedestrians across this nation to visit emergency rooms after suffering injuries by walking directly into the path of traffic. As a Peachtree City personal injury law firm, we encourage pedestrians to stay safe and walk distraction-free. 

However, we know that not every pedestrian accident is the fault of the pedestrian. If you have been injured in a Georgia pedestrian accident by no fault of your own, please call the Law Offices of Shane Smith for a free consultation at (770) 487-8999 today.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia