Metric Field Safety Insight

Distracted Driving & Walking

By a show of hands who has used their cell phone while walking down the street or driving?  Using cellphones or other devices while driving has proven to be deadly. Cellphone use during driving is very prevalent on our roads today. In fact, at any given time throughout the day, approximately 660,000 drivers are attempting to use their phones while behind the wheel of an automobile. Smartphones have made it easy for us to stay connected at all times. But that can pose serious safety risks if someone decides to check his or her text messages, emails, phone calls, or any other mobile applications while driving.

Some alarming statistics from cellphone use while driving are:

  • 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
  • Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
  • Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.
  • Texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road

On the other hand, everyone has seen the commercials and the billboards warning people of the dangers of texting while driving. What about the dangers of using a cellphone while walking? There are many videos online of individuals who are distracted while walking and end up injured. While some of these videos can be innocent and funny, the consequences of this unsafe act can be severe. Injuries caused by being distracted due to using a cellphone while walking has become so common that National Safety Council has added “distracted walking” as a category in their statistical report pertaining to injury facts. This report tracks data around the leading causes of unintentional injuries and deaths.

Some hazards from distracted cell phone use while walking are:

  • Walking into fixed objects
  • Being struck by moving vehicles or equipment
  • Walking over an edge or into an open hole
  • Tripping over an object
  • Walking under a lifted load

Thankfully, there is a sure-fire remedy to eliminate any potential hazards associated with cellphone use while driving or walking, DON’T DO IT! A phone call, or text is never worth putting yourself or others in danger.

Stay Safe!

Author: Kristopher Jenkins, MS, GSP, REP, CSHM
Author: Kristopher Jenkins, MS, GSP, REP, CSHMEnvironmental Health & Safety Specialist