Cellphone use is not just dangerous for distracted drivers anymore. More and more people are ending up in the emergency room after getting hurt while walking and talking or texting on their mobile device.
Researchers at The Ohio State University say the number of people getting hurt while walking and using a cell phone doubled between 2005 and 2010. In fact, cellphone-related injuries have become so prevalent that doctors have come up with a name for it:
"We call it W-W-T," said Seth Podolsky, MD, an emergency room physician at Cleveland Clinic. "Walking while texting."
Results of the study show 16 to 25-year-olds were most likely to be hurt and that interestingly, it was talking on the phone – not texting – that caused more injuries in that group. The study also found that men are more likely to get hurt while walking and talking than women.
Experts say cellphone-related emergency room visits are likely to go up. This is despite the fact that overall, pedestrian injuries are going down in the ER.
"It's always a good idea to stop and stay put when you're talking on the phone or texting," said Podolsky.
Researchers recommend developing cellphones that lock while moving. Others suggest changing the texture along sidewalk edges to warn us when we're getting close to the street.