Statistics Show “Distracted Walking” Deaths On the Rise
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Statistics show that roads are getting safer but only as long as you’re in a car. If you are a pedestrian, though, it’s a very different story.
While traffic deaths are decreasing overall, pedestrian deaths are on the rise – and experts say that distracted walking may be a big part of the problem.
According to safety experts, more people out walking are being hurt or killed due to distractions from cell phones, iPods and other electronic devices. Between 2000 and 2009, Transportation for America reports that more than 800 people in Missouri and 222 people in Kansas were killed while walking.
The Associated Press reports that the number of distracted walkers treated at hospital emergency rooms have more than quadrupled in the past seven years. In that time, there has also been a spike in the number of pedestrians killed and injured after being hit by cars – but there is no reliable data on how many of those victims were distracted by electronics.
In 2011, the Missouri Department of Transportation began a campaign to reduce pedestrian deaths, saying drivers and walkers both have a responsibility to pay attention and keep the distractions at home.