These people are all victims of the modern epidemic known as “texting while walking.”
The rise of texting while walking and its associated perils have been well documented by the Pew Research Center, which has posted an analysis of the situation based on a survey from mid-2012. The findings? Fifty-three percent of all adult mobile phone owners have been either on the giving or receiving end of a “distracted walking encounter.” Not to be confused with an “illicit encounter” or a “missed connection,” these behaviors are most prevalent amongst the young (in particular ages 18-24). Those with a smartphone are especially likely to engage in said behavior (32 percent of users compared with 14 percent of non-smartphone owners), according to the study.
Now some towns are going so far as to ban the practice. In Fort Lee, N.J., pedestrians can be fined $85 for the sin of texting while walking, and in New York City, lawmakers have sought to implement a $100 fine. Enforcement, though, is another issue.
Numerous victims have been moved to speak out on the subject, as did one woman in South Bend, Ind., who recently fell into a river while walking. “I couldn’t let pride stand in my way of warning other people to not drive and text or walk and text,” she said. “It can be dangerous.”
And The Times is on it. “Let’s stop acting like hollowed-out zombies, with BlackBerrys and iPhones replacing eye contact, handshakes and face-to-face conversations,” filmmaker Casey Neistat wrote recently in The New York Times‘ op-ed pages. “It’s time to live once again in the present and simply be where we are.”
All Zen advice aside, the best reason not to text and walk is one that’s best relayed by statistics. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says 1,152 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms in 2011 upon being injured while using a cell phone or other electronic device.
Pew has distilled the hazards in a chart. Behold, the percentage of cell-phone owners in each age bracket who have bumped into something or been bumped into by others who were distracted by their phones:
What We're Following See More »
In town to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center, Bill Murray casually strolled into the White House Briefing Room this afternoon. A spokesman said he was at the executive mansion for a chat with President Obama, his fellow Chicagoan.
"A federal appeals court's decision that declared the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau an arm of the White House relies on a novel interpretation of the constitution's separation of powers clause that could have broader effects on how other regulators" like the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
"According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, the first national post-debate survey, 43 percent of registered voters said the Democratic candidate won, compared with 26 percent who opted for the Republican Party’s standard bearer. Her 6-point lead over Trump among likely voters is unchanged from our previous survey: Clinton still leads Trump 42 percent to 36 percent in the race for the White House, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson taking 9 percent of the vote."
After a lighthearted beginning, Donald Trump's appearance at the Al Smith charity dinner in New York "took a tough turn as the crowd repeatedly booed the GOP nominee for his sharp-edged jokes about his rival Hillary Clinton."
Evan McMullin came out on top in a Emerson College poll of Utah with 31% of the vote. Donald Trump came in second with 27%, while Hillary Clinton took third with 24%. Gary Johnson received 5% of the vote in the survey.