Accidents due to texting while walking rise steeply

With smartphones becoming a very common gadget, texting while walking is also common. However, doctors are suggesting that head and neck injury cases are on the rise, due to cell phone use.

According to the United States Department of Transportation, dialling or text messaging on cell phone or any wireless email device was responsible for 401 fatal crashes in 2017. But, doctors say, accidents due to texting while walking are causing more injuries.

Roman Povolotskiy — from the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark and colleagues analysed 20 years’ worth of data, examining the records of emergency department visits due to head and neck injuries.

They found that 2,501 people aged 13–29 presented at the emergency department with head and neck injuries related to cell phone use. Based on these data, the researchers estimated a national total of 76,043 people with similar injuries.

A third of the injuries occurred in the head and neck area, and another third were facial injuries, including eyes, eyelid area, and nose. Over 12% of the injuries were to the neck. People aged 13–29 years were most at risk of these injuries.

“Cell phone-related injuries to the head and neck have increased steeply over the recent 20 year period, with many cases resulting from distraction,” explain the study authors.


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