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 »
When it comes to name-calling among America's upper echelon of politicians, there may be perhaps no greater spat than the one currently going on between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump. While receiving an award Tuesday night, she continued a months-long feud with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Calling him a "small, insecure moneygrubber" who probably doesn't know three things about Dodd-Frank, she said he "will NEVER be president of the United States," according to her prepared remarks."We don't know what Trump pays in taxes because he is the first presidential nominee in 40 years to refuse to disclose his tax returns. Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims." It follows a long-line of Warren attacks over Twitter, Facebook and in interviews that Trump is a sexist, racist, narcissistic loser. In reply, Trump has called Warren either "goofy" or "the Indian"—referring to her controversial assertion of her Native American heritage.
The House on Tuesday voted 403-12 "to pass an overhaul to the nation’s chemical safety standards for the first time in four decades. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act aims to answer years of complaints that the Environmental Protection Agency lacks the necessary authority to oversee and control the thousands of chemicals being produced and sold in the United States. It also significantly clamps down on states’ authorities, in an effort to stop a nationwide patchwork of chemical laws that industry says is difficult to deal with."
"Leaders of the Republican Party have begun internal deliberations over making fundamental changes to the way its presidential nominees are chosen, a recognition that the chaotic process that played out this year is seriously flawed and helped exacerbate tensions within the party." Among the possible changes: forbidding independent voters to cast ballots in Republican primaries, and "doubling the number of early states to eight."
Citing the unpredictable nature of this primary season and the possible leverage they could bring at the convention, John Kasich is hanging onto his 161 delegates. "Kasich sent personal letters Monday to Republican officials in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where he won delegates, requesting that they stay bound to him in accordance with party rules."
"Speaker Paul Ryan is changing the rules of how the House will consider spending measures to try to prevent Democrats from offering surprise amendments that have recently put the GOP on defense. ... Ryan announced at a House GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning that members will now have to submit their amendments ahead of time so that they are pre-printed in the Congressional Record, according to leadership aides." The change will take effect after the Memorial Day recess.