Personal Injury

text and chew gum?

I’ve heard of the expression of someone not being able to walk and chew gum at the same time, but apparently the newest reality involves the ability to walk and text at the same time. A recent study reveals a growing incidence of injuries, some severe, and even death, as a result of text messaging. Walking, riding a bike, driving or even rollerblading, all while trying to send text messages, is hazardous to your health.

According to a recent story on MSNBC.com, people are not only experiencing minor injuries like scrapes and sprains from this practice, but more serious injuries and even death. The report cites two Emergency Room physicians who responded to a survey conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians about injuries they’ve seen involving text messaging. Each doctor documented a case where an oblivious text-messager stepped into oncoming traffic and was killed.

The ACEP report also lists serious injuries to people who are sending text messages while riding a Segway (the personal transport device), cooking, and even riding a horse. Injuries ranged from concussion to burns, and head and back injuries.

The MSNBC story references a 2006 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute that says distractions as brief as 2 seconds can cause accidents or near misses while driving a car. It is only logical, then, that text messaging can be distracting enough to impact people multi-tasking in other ways, the story surmises.

There may be more injuries than reflected in the statistics, as well. According to physicians, many people are embarrassed to admit that they actually sustained their injuries because they were text-messaging rather than paying attention to their surroundings.