Walking and phoning - a dangerous habit
Young people and smartphone users are the most likely to be hurt, research shows. By Moya Irvine
ON MAY 27, a 23-year-old man was hit and seriously injured by a train in Hampstead, Maryland. The locomotive sounded its horn, but the young man couldn't hear because he was wearing earbuds* with the volume on his smartphone turned up high. The week before, an 18-year-old girl was killed by an Amtrak* train in California while she argued with her father on her mobile phone.
These tragic cases have highlighted the dangers of "distracted* walking". Research shows that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of pedestrians injured while using mobile devices.
Research by Jack Nasar, a professor at Ohio State University, shows that in 2010, - more than 1,500 people in the US were treated in emergency rooms for injuries caused by using a mobile phone while walking - twice as
many as in 2005. Most of them were aged 16-25. With more people now using smartphones for social media, to play games, to text and listen to music, Nasar wouldn't be surprised if the figure doubled again between 2010 and 2015.
A study by the Pew Research Center shows how common the "walking and phoning" problem is. Fifty-three percent of those interviewed said they had either bumped into someone while usng their phone or been bumped
into by another phone user. Young adults and smartphone users were the most likely to run into someone.
5 Professor Nasar believes we need to change the way we use mobile devices. He told the Baltimore Sun, a US newspaper: "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."
Source: ReadOn, Aug. 2014, Nr. 8 - www.sprachzeitungen.de
* earbuds - Ohrhörer
* Amtrak - die 'Deutsche Bahn'
* distracted - abgelenkt
1. What are the dangers of of using a mobile phone when walking on streets?
2. How many young US adults using mobile phones have experienced collisions with some other pedestrians?
3. What advice does Prof. Nasar give parents as to how parents can prevent their children from accidents when using mobile phones in the open?
4. What was your most dangerous experience using a mobile phone when walking in the streets?