According to a new survey from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), roughly 78 percent of Americans believe that distracted walking has become a serious issue. However, only about 74 percent believe that they are not guilty of the crime, which the agency is called “digital deadwalking”.
“Today, the dangers of the ‘digital deadwalker’ are growing with more and more pedestrians falling down stairs, tripping over curbs, bumping into other walkers, or stepping into traffic causing a rising number of injuries — from scrapes and bruises to sprains and fractures,” explains AAOS spokesman Alan Hilibrand. “In fact, the number of injuries to pedestrians using their phones has more thandoubled since 2004, and surveys have shown that 60 [percent] of pedestrians are distracted by other activities while walking.”
More specifically, the survey found that 90 percent of people are aware of other people talking on the phone while walking, but only 37 percent admit to doing it themselves. Of course, “digital deadwalking” involves not only walking and talking on the phone simultaneously, but can also include talking to another person, listening to music, or even just “zoning out.”
Dr. Hillbrand also explains that about 31 percent admit that “digital deadwalking” is something they are probably prone and even 22 percent think it is funny. Finally, she comments “The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons urges pedestrians to avoid musculoskeletal and other injuries by engaging with their surroundings-drivers, bikers, other walkers and obstacles,” adding also, “Many of us simply need to force ourselves to set down our devices and focus on what’s in front of and around us. This will ensure that we safely arrive at our destination, during this busy holiday season and throughout the year.”