Pedestrians on phones more likely to land up in the ER

Don't use the cellphone while driving has now become a thing the past - a new nationwide study has now stressed the importance of avoiding the use of cellphones even while walking on the streets.

Around 1,500 pedestrians are assumed to undergo treatments in the emergency rooms in the year 2010, all of them suffering from injuries related to the use of cellphones while walking on the street.

It's not shocking that this number has literally doubled since the year 2005, and Jack Nasar, professor of city and regional planning at the Ohio State University and co-author of the study, said "If current trends continue, I wouldn't be surprised if the number of injuries to pedestrians caused by cell phones doubles again between 2010 and 2015."

The researchers also believe that these numbers are just an underestimation; the number of pedestrians injured due to the use of cellphones is much more, considering that some injuries may be minor, and people may not get to the emergency room to get themselves treated.

There's another speculation that some people may not admit using the cellphone while getting into the emergency room, which may add to the not-so-correct results. "The role of cell phones in distracted driving injuries and deaths gets a lot of attention and rightly so, but we need to also consider the danger cell phone use poses to pedestrians," Nasar added.

Their study also revealed that people between the ages of 16 and 25 years were more likely to get injured due to the use of cellphones, and most of them were hurt while talking on the phone, rather than texting.

Nasar's study, which he conducted with Derek Troyer, a former graduate student at the Ohio State University, is published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention.

Their study took in the data from over 100 hospitals in the country, and carefully examined the data from the year 2004 to 2010. In the year 2004, around 559 pedestrians had to be treated in the emergency room due to their injuries which they suffered from the use of cellphones while in public areas, and the numbers rose every year.

Also, these numbers may not be the exact numbers and the actual number of pedestrians affected may be much more, the researchers speculate. "It is impossible to say whether 2 million distracted pedestrians are really injured each year.  But I think it is safe to say that the numbers we have are much lower than what is really happening," Nasar explained, in response to the data from CPSC, which claims there may have been around 2 million pedestrian injuries associated with the use of cellphones in public areas.

"Parents already teach their children to look both ways when crossing the street.  They should also teach them to put away their cell phone when walking, particularly when crossing a street," he added. 

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