Florida Petextrians: Heads Up, Phones Down

Most Americans are well aware of the dangers of texting and driving.

But did you know that there have been dramatic increases in the number of emergency room visits for injuries caused by texting and walking?

Yes, you heard this correctly.

Texting and walking, also known as distracted walking, has caused over 11,100 injuries between 2000 and 2011, according to the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts 2015. [1]  Because of this, the National Safety Council has now included “distracted walking” as one of its categories under unintentional deaths and injuries in its annual statistics reports.

Since the 1970s, the number of pedestrian deaths has been decreasing.  And most pedestrian deaths and injuries were the result of individuals, mostly children under 15, darting out into the street.

Today, we are seeing a new trend.  Distracted walkers, also known as petextrians, are increasingly getting injured while carelessly walking and texting.  Keeping their eyes and minds on their phones results in a  lack of awareness of their surroundings, putting them at risk of running into objects, tripping, falling, and attempting to cross the street amidst traffic.

Accidental pedestrian injuries are now the fifth leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 5 to 19 in the United States.  And, the teen death rate is double that for young children.  In terms of injuries, the majority of injured petextrians are under 40.  But while many petextrians are young people, distracted walking injuries are not limited to the millennial generation.  According to the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts 2015, nearly half of all petextrian injuries happened to individuals over 40.  Nearly 80% of all injuries occurred due to a fall and slightly more than half of these injuries happened at home.

We all need to do something to help stop these truly senseless injuries!  Remember Head Up, Phone Down.  That’s the new slogan that’s receiving lots of buzz these days.  Remember this when walking!

Additionally, the following tips are recommended by NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) and NSC (National Safety Council) to help prevent petextrian injuries:

General Walking Tips

  • Avoid using a cell phone, headphones, or any electronic device while walking
  • Children under 10 should cross the street with an adult
  • Use designated crosswalks only
  • Wear bright and/or reflective clothing and walk in groups

Important Road and Sidewalk Tips

  • Do not assume a car will stop!
  • Make eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you
  • Look left, right and left one more time (because a car can move quickly) before crossing the street
  • Be aware of drivers when you’re in a crosswalk; vehicles have blind spots
  • If your view is blocked, stop and move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic before attempting to cross

Walking is a great form of exercise and mode of transportation.  When walking, play it safe by being alert and attentive.  Keep your head up and your phone down to avoid distraction and injury.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

[1]  Injury Facts®2015, the statistical report on unintentional deaths and injuries published by the National Safety Council,