I Want To Walk You Home: The Perils Of Walking And Texting

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Not only is texting and driving dangerous, so is texting and walking.

A very poignant advertisement (see below)* by a UK insurance company really drives home the dangers of texting and walking while on city streets. This unsafe pedestrian behavior isn’t just limited to the younger generation either. Sit at an outdoor coffee shop at any given time of day and watch the street traffic. Not one minute will pass without you seeing people of all ages texting and walking.

You likely haven’t thought of walking and texting as unsafe behavior, but not only is it disrespectful to other pedestrians, it’s dangerous, because it distracts you from mindfully and safely navigating the streets while you’re walking. Texting takes our attention away from being aware of traffic patterns, watching for traffic signals, and of course, making eye contact with drivers when we’re crossing streets. In fact, the risks of walking and texting are significant enough that both Arkansas and New York states even contemplated giving out fines, but the legislation never came to pass.

Do we really need a law to make people pony up to common sense? Walking, talking, and texting on devices is a relatively new phenomenon in our society, and it isn’t likely that laws will come to fruition anytime soon. But at the very least, from a public health perspective, it makes sense to provide education and develop community-accepted standards of etiquette related to walking and using our portable communications devices. We don’t need laws, we need manners.

If you’re walking through a field or a forest, by all means text away. But if you’re in the city, put your device away and pay attention! You might even run into someone you know and have an actual face-to-face conversation!

*Please note this video is graphic and may not be suitable for all ages.

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