Community Safety Alert
Walk on any street in the city, ride on any bus or train and you will see an increasing amount of individuals using headphones or ear buds to listen to their smart phone or electronic music device, texting or talking on their phones. While this technology has its advantages, there are also inherent dangers.
A recent report published in the Injury Prevention Journal states that accidents involving people hit by vehicles while wearing earbuds have tripled since 2004. The authors of the report called distractions by electronic devices Ò inattentional blindness and it reduces mental resource allocation, or attention to outside stimuli.Ó This can cause environmental isolation where the ability to hear car horns and other auditory details, and pay attention to other potential safety hazards like speeding bicyclists are greatly diminished.
The report does not take into account the near misses that occur. In and around our campus, there is a high degree of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Perhaps you or someone you know has had a near miss. If you havenÕt paid attention to this issue, perhaps this is the right time.
The rate of pedestrian injuries resulting from walking while using a cell phone, either to talk or to text, doubled from 2006 to 2007 and doubled again in 2008. According to a 2008 Ohio State University study, pedestrians accounted for 1,000 emergency department visits.
Please see the following safety tips to minimize becoming a victim:
á Be predictable. Use sidewalks where provided. Cross or enter streets where it is legal to do so.
á Be alert and aware when you are crossing the street. Do not be distracted by cell phones, PDAs or headsets.
á Where no sidewalks are provided, it is usually safer to walk facing road traffic.
á Make it easy for drivers to see you - dress in light colors and wear retro-reflective material.
á Be wary. Most drivers are nice people, but don't count on them paying attention. Watch out - make eye contact to be sure they see you!
á Alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to walk safely, just like they do a person's ability to drive.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Public Safety.
Community safety alert