Texting while walking

As I walk from class to class everyday I’m almost always cut off or bumped into by at least one person who is texting and walking. I’m all for sending a quick text as soon as I get out of class, but some people cannot walk without having their faces glued to their phones.  It might not seem like a bad idea to pick up your phone and make a few quick texts or catch some Pokémon (for those of you who are still into that) but it could be dangerous and it develops bad habits.

Phones are becoming more and more advanced which in turn has left people more reliant on them.  A study done by Ohio State University  shows that in 2010 there were over 1,500 people admitted into the emergency room for accidents due to walking distracted. The number of similar accidents were less than 300 in 2005. People who are looking at their phones while crossing the street won’t even take a second to look for on coming traffic. A study conducted in Seattle, Washington observed over 1,000 people crossing a busy intersection throughout the day. The scientists results showed that pedestrians who were texting while walking were almost four times as likely to not look before crossing or disobey the cross walk signals. In another study  scientists made 28 participants walk 8.5 meters three separate times. The first would be at a normal pace with no distractions. In the second pass participants would read texts without replying, while in their third pass they would be required to text a short sentence and send it.  The results were what you would expect. The more distractions involved, the more crooked and slower they walked.

Some communities are beginning to fine people texting while walking, while others have come to the realization that it will remain in our society. In 2012 New Jersey police officers in Ft. Lee began writing $85 tickets to anyone they saw texting while walking across a road. On the other end of the spectrum the city of Chongqing , China has developed a designated walking lane for those inclined to text and walk. The texting lane has white arrows pointed on the ground so they can stay in line without having to look up.

It would be nice if people could put down their phones and walk but its not going to happen.  People’s attachment to cell phones will continue to grow as technology advances. It will be interesting to see what approach the rest of the United States will take to keep texting pedestrians safe.


First picture: https://images.britcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Texting4.jpg

Second picture: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=texting+while+walking+lane&view=detailv2&&id=6914CB90DF6465568C10D213F682206A59070D4E&selectedIndex=0&ccid=7KtbVdAb&simid=608037254231624057&thid=OIP.Mecab5b55d01b52154dce33f7e06b17e6o0&ajaxhist=0




9 thoughts on “Texting while walking

  1. Benjamin R Tuohey

    I enjoyed reading this a lot. I feel like this is a very relevant issue in today’s society and I am definitely guilty of this as well. I definitely do my fair share of texting and walking, it is real easy to get distracted when walking and then I find myself just walking without paying attention to whats going on. I have walked into signs and other people before. I definitely learned my lesson about walking and texting and try my best to leave my phone in my pocket because when you’re texting and walking you put yourself and others in danger.

  2. Lydia A Chelli

    I as well as many people am typically on my phone when I walk. My personal reasons for doing it are boredom, avoidance of social interaction, or talking to friends or family. It’s become the same issue as texting and driving, but the consequence and risks aren’t as severe. Although, it does become severe when people don’t put down their phone before crossing the street and it is left to the driver, who may also be texting. Walking around campus, I most of the people I see have their head down and are on their phone. This will never be avoided because of the popularity of cell phones and social media, but it is important that people look out for themselves because you don’t know who you will encounter. I am interested to see if this becomes a more popular conflict to society in the future.

  3. Margaret Eppinger

    This is definitely a real issue, and one that I’m certainly guilty of. I don’t see many people walking to class on campus without doing at least one thing on their phone. It was interesting to see the statistics; it’s pretty shocking to read how many people were admitted to the emergency room for walking distracted, and how much it’s increased. This to me indicates that the rise of smartphones is probably to blame here, although there could be other factors as well, since people can be distracted by many different things. I also found the studies done to show that people who text while walking tend to be slower is indicative of the fact the cellphones are extremely distracting. Of the two solutions you discussed in this blog post, I’m not sure which one I agree with. On one hand, a cellphone lane is a pretty genius way to protect the people who are just going to do it anyway and a fine is kind of harsh. On the other hand, it could be enabling people to partake in such a dangerous behavior and a fine could be a good scare tactic. It’ll be interesting to see how this issue develops in the future.

  4. Mackenzie French

    I couldn’t not comment on this. This is a huge issue. Everyone texts and walks, including me. With all these technological advances, communication skills are failing. People will be walking to class just on their phone because they feel they need to be, since everyone else is. When passing someone you don’t know, most people tend to look down at their phones to avoid “awkward” eye contact or interaction. That is sad. The fact that there is laws being implemented about walking and texting and tickets worth $85 is sadly hilarious. Walking and texting can be just as bad as driving and texting though. All in all there needs to be restrictions on cell phone use while walking and driving. I hope people become aware that all these people being stuck with their heads in their phones is destroying communication in the world and even causing people to lose their lives!

  5. Melanie Dawn Weltner

    I think we can all relate to being bumped into because of this especially on campus. I feel like having the habit of being glued to your phone while even just walking can lead to further and just as harmful acts such as texting and driving. Walking and texting may seem like no big deal to people who are accustomed to doing so but with statistics as striking as that seems like you’re not the only one taking notice. New Jersey apparently is contemplating actually considering passing a law to make it illegal to walk and text like Jackson said! Here is another article on the matter to further how serious this issue really is and possibly some ways we can use common sense to end this. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/texting-walking-ban-new-jersey_us_56f00118e4b03a640a6b0066

  6. Casey Patrick Brennan

    I feel your pain completely in regards to this subject. Just today actually while walking across the Old Main lawn I decided to look up and survey the area only to find hundreds of students glued to their phones, probably doing something that could wait for the ten minutes it takes to walk to class. Personally I think people being addicted to their phones is a real thing, and in the coming years I genuinely believe people will be going to rehab for their phones. Here is an article about phone addiction: http://www.medicaldaily.com/technology-addiction-warning-signs-cell-phone-addict-247344

  7. Colleen Bridget Mcshea

    I remember one time I saw a video of a girl walking and texting in a mall and she ended up falling right into a fountain! I remember laughing at the time, but now that I am walking to and from each class every day, I have realized how much I walk and text as well. In fact, just earlier today I would have missed and fell down three steps if i didn’t look up from my phone at the exact second that I did. I actually had to stop and say to myself “Ok, this is ridiculous. Get off the stupid phone.” I will definitely be more conscious of this from now on! Here is the video of the girl I saw fall into the fountain while texting.

  8. Amanda Voirrey Rust

    I found this ironic because I live near Fort Lee, NJ and I can totally see that being an actual offense. Roads are one of the worlds’ most deadly places, for drivers and pedestrians. Not only is texting dangerous while driving, it clearly can be dangerous while walking too because you are not aware of your surroundings! I have been in so many situations where a car has flown down the street unexpectedly and it is quite frightening. Also, when people walk around campus with their eyes stuck on their phones, they miss out on living in the moment and appreciating the people and things around them. Someone might say hello, and they could totally miss it because they are too busy looking at a phone. I found this video that really displays the dangers of texting and walking. http://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000001269189/texting-while-walking.html

  9. Jackson Grey Hope

    This is actually really funny timing for this post! I was walking to class yesterday and some girl was crossing the crosswalk on her phone and actually ran into a stopped car! I know i shouldn’t be saying this but I did laugh at her. On a more serious note this is a real danger we face in today’s society and there is actually a new law that you can get a ticket with a decent fine for walking while texting. Check it out!https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2016/03/28/tickets-for-texting-while-walking-a-new-jersey-lawmaker-wants-to-make-it-so/

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