From 2004 to 2010, the Number of Injuries From Walking in Telephone Poles Almost Tripled | Smart News | Smithsonian
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From 2004 to 2010, the Number of Injuries From Walking in Telephone Poles Almost Tripled

Stop walking and using your smart phone at the same time.

smithsonian.com

Next time you're walking down the street, look around you. You might notice that nobody else has their head up. They're probably on their smart phone.

Not only does moving through the world with your chin glued to your neck keep you from seeing the world around you, it's also super dangerous. In 2004, 559 people had to be treated by doctors after walking into a telephone pole while using their phones. In 2010, that number increased to 1,500.

Steve Mirsky, at Scientific American, notes that our problem is not really going away:

Experts expect the injury toll related to phones to keep rising. “If current trends continue, I wouldn't be surprised if the number of injuries to pedestrians caused by cell phones doubles again between 2010 and 2015,” said Ohio State University's Jack Nasar, a co-author of the study, in a press release. And he thinks that the official numbers are probably underestimates of the true injury rate because not everyone who gets hurt goes to the hospital and not everyone who goes admits the real reason that they walked into a fire hydrant.

The growing tendency to walk around head-down has even sparked a blog,  We Never Look Up, which documents people staring down, most often into their smart devices. Perhaps this is one good argument for Google Glass.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Is That a Computer in Your Shoe?
Wearable Tech Makes a Fashion Statement

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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