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Study: Cell Phone-Related Pedestrian Injuries Increasing

10:37 PM, Sep 17, 2013   |    comments
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  • Courtesy: Ohio State University
    
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  • Study: Cell phone-related pedestrian injuries soar
  • Recent research shows that pedestrian injuries related to cell phone usage is on the rise.

    study conducted by Ohio State University shows that pedestrian injuries related to cell phones have doubled since 2005.

    Things like falling off walkways or bridges to walking in front of moving traffic can all be a result of walking while texting.

    The study looked at emergency room data from 100 hospitals around the country. It shows that in 2010, 1,500 pedestrians were treated for cell-phone related injuries. In 2005, they had only a total of 256.

    Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem told WFMY News 2 that they don't keep track of pedestrian injuries related to cell phones.

    One of the authors of the study concluded that people between the ages of 16 and 25 are most at risk for a cell-phone injury while walking.

    A hot spot for distracted walkers is on college campuses.

    "It's something we see all the time. It's very common, see people walking with their heads down texting....not paying attention to their surroundings," said Officer Brad Smith with UNCG Police.

    Smith said between people walking and texting, walking or biking with headphones on, and not using crosswalks properly, injuries can happen.

    The University of North Carolina and the NC Department of Transportation started a public education campaign in 2012 called Watch for Me NC to encourage people to be safer pedestrians.

    The campaign consists of safety and educational messages through posters, bus ads, radio PSA's, and bumper stickers.

    According to the campaign website, more than 400 people are hit while walking every year in the Triangle region of North Carolina.

    A spokesperson with NCDOT told WFMY News 2 that in 2012, NCDOT contributed $105,000 to the campaign. That was 80 percent federal dollars with a 20 percent state match.

    The NCDOT is contributing more in 2013. The total number isn't clear yet but will include $115,000 for ad buys, plus funding for print materials, lights and armbands, and their contract with UNC to administer the project. The majority of the funds will again come from the 80% federal enhancement/20% state match dollars.

    WFMY News 2, USA Today, NCDOT, Ohio State University

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