You’ve heard of the dangers of distracted driving, but did you know that distracted walking can also be risky? A recent study by researchers at the University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Hospital shows it’s true. People using mobile devices for phoning, texting, or listening to music put themselves in harm’s way more often than pedestrians who are simply walking. Text messaging was the riskiest behavior. Pedestrians who were texting took longer to cross the street. They were also four times more likely to do unsafe things like failing to look both ways before crossing or disobeying traffic lights.
Putting the phone away while you are in motion is always the safest bet. If you must multitask while walking, don’t do so while you’re crossing the street.
Remember these basics:
- Do not exchange text messages when crossing the street.
- Obey traffic signals and cross at crosswalks.
- Remember to look left, right, and left again before crossing.
- Make eye contact with drivers in vehicles as you make your way across lanes.
- Keep your full attention on the task of crossing until you reach the other side.
- Model safe mobile device behavior for the children in your life. They learn by watching you. And talk about distraction and pedestrian safety with them.