Study: Cellphone conversations a danger to pedestrians too

There's No Substitute for Experience

There are cellphone laws in place in Tennessee that are meant to prevent distracted driving accidents. This is why all drivers are banned from texting while driving and new drivers are banned from using a cellphone when behind the wheel. Of course though, many new drivers still skirt the rules and others still text and drive. Others too are just plain distracted by their cellphones -- even when used legally.

The reason for the distraction -- even if using a hands-free device -- is due to the fact that a person's attention is on the conversation, not what is happening right in front of them. This can lead to not only motor vehicle accidents, but even pedestrian walking accidents.

A study was recently conducted by two university researchers. The two collected emergency room data related to cellphones from 2004 until 2010. The data came from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System and did not include information related to people who did not visit the emergency room or those who were killed due to the distraction.

The researchers focused out not only motor vehicle accidents where cellphones played a role, but also accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclist.

Overall, the study found that men were injured more than women and that 69.5 percent of the injuries happened when a person was talking on the phone, not texting. In fact, texting only made up 9.1 percent of the injuries.

What this means is that people need to get better at paying attention to the task at hand. Whether it is driving a car, riding a bicycle or walking down the road, the point of focus should be what is going on around them, not the conversation on the phone.

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