Texting while walking becoming a serious issue
A new study conducted by researchers from Stony Brook University found that texting while walking can cause a great deal of accidents. According to Long Island Business News, the study showed that the gait velocity was reduced when the person was texting and navigational errors were made.
The researchers came to these results by asking participants to walk to a point eight feet away, and then having them to do the same while texting. Those who were texting while talking “veered off course, demonstrating a 61 percent increase in lateral deviation and 13 percent increase in distance traveled,” the media outlet reports.
“We want to raise awareness that a real disruption occurs because of texting,” co-author of the study Eric Lamberg told the news source. “Texting disrupts your ability much more than does talking.”
One New Jersey town is taking this one step further by banning texting and walking altogether. According to the New Jersey Record, pedestrians of Fort Lee will be given tickets each time they are caught texting while walking. In addition, they will get fined if they jaywalk. This is all in an effort to diminish the increasing number of pedestrians hurt and killed in accidents.
The news outlet reports that in March the police enforcement decided to crack down on texting, after three deaths occurred this year. They have given out 117 $85 tickets since March, and the numbers continue to rise.
“If you give a pedestrian a ticket, he looks at you like you have two heads,” Fair Lawn Patrolman Tim Franco, who heads the New Jersey Police Traffic Officers Association, told the news source. “But when you have a serious public safety situation, as in Fort Lee, I’m glad they’re doing this.”
As new laws develop surrounding texting while walking or driving, some individuals may be curious about ways to protect their phones. Smartphone thefts are quite common, and a number of people have valuable personal information on their mobile devices. Those who want avoid identity theft if their phone is stolen or lost can opt for cell phone tracking software. This can not only tell a person where their phone is, but what was accessed on the device.