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Be aware of pedestrians while behind the wheel

Cellphone use is not only dangerous for motorists but for pedestrians too. A new study reported that more pedestrians are being distracted while using their cellphones and are being injured in pedestrian-car collisions in the U.S. Cellphone use among pedestrians is becoming so dangerous that 1,500 people were treated in emergency rooms in 2010 after being involved in an accident.

The researchers said that they cannot tell if more pedestrians are being injured in accidents due to more pedestrians using their cellphones but they did say that cellphone use is very dangerous for everyone on the road, including pedestrians.

The study reported that pedestrian injuries linked to cellphone use has increased during the last decade, with the highest number of injuries being recorded at 1,506 in 2010. The researchers said that while they cannot directly contribute these accidents to cellphone use, it is very likely that these pedestrians are at an increased risk of being injured or involved in an accident when they are multitasking, such as using their cellphone while walking.

Researchers said they would like to conduct more studies to see how using technology and multitasking impacts pedestrian safety. However, they did say that pedestrians should focus on where they are walking, especially in higher traffic areas, and not use their cellphones or other electronic devices because they may be more likely to be involved in an accident and suffer serious injuries.

Drivers in Ohio should be aware of pedestrian crossings and pedestrians on the road or sidewalk at all times and be sure to follow state laws regarding stopping for pedestrians. Drivers should also be aware of the risks pedestrians face when using cellphones and stay alert behind the wheel to make sure they are aware of their surroundings, which includes not just other vehicles but pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists on the road. Being aware of the potential dangers on the road and risks everyone faces will help keep everyone safe when travelling in Ohio.

Source: HealthDay News, "Cellphone 'Distracted Walking' Sending Pedestrians to the ER," Randy Dotinga, June 25, 2013

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