Why your cellphone could have you in the hospital...
That's how many accidents cellphone use accounts for every year.
We've all heard about the dangers of texting and driving...
But what about texting while walking?
Few people think twice about grabbing their phones out of their pockets and sending a quick text (or checking social media) while walking.
Although it's not against the law and you won't find many billboards warning of the dangers, texting and walking could pose a far more significant threat than most people know...
In fact, studies show a massive spike in cellphone-related injuries (and even deaths) while walking.
Perhaps many overestimate their ability to multitask. Or maybe texting is so automatic that some don't even realize they do it while on the move.
What we do know is that texting and walking could lead you straight to the hospital.
A recent analysis shows that tripping, falling, head injuries, and neck injuries have steadily increased over the last 20 years. And related emergency room visits more than doubled from just 2005 to 2010.
Since smartphones have become popular for all age groups, injuries continue to increase across the board. However, those who are between 19 and 29 make up just under half of all cellphone-related walking injuries.
One-third of all cases involve head injuries. Another third involve injuries to the face. 18% involve internal organ injuries, and 12% involve neck injuries.
"I don't think people are aware of how fragile we are as humans. We're resilient, but we're also fragile. You fall and you can get a pretty bad injury," paper author and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Boris Paskhover said in an interview with NBC news.
Paskhover started looking into the data after he noticed that a large number of his patients were injured because they were looking at their smartphones while walking.
"You walk in the city and you see everyone just looking at their phones," he continued. "Be aware that you can hurt yourself."
Even worse, many have lost their lives to walking and texting.
This past Christmas, a 32-year-old man was seen distracted by his cellphone just before falling 42 feet to his death.
And cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago are seeing record highs for fatal "distracted while walking" accidents.
"We have a skull that protects our brain, but it doesn't mean it's impervious. Your brain is soft," Paskhover mentioned. "I see patients who die just from falling. A fall from upright — you fall, you hit your head the wrong way, you get a traumatic brain injury."
The National Safety Council has even given distracted walking its own category in the annual injuries report.
That's how big of a problem this really is...
Cellphone-related walking injuries were quite uncommon before 2007 — which happens to be the same year that the first iPhone came out.
From 2007 on, distracted walking injuries have continued to skyrocket, with no signs of slowing down.
There’s a lesson to be learned here: Be aware of your surroundings and watch where you’re going.
Looking at your phone for just a second or two could put you in harm's way.
And keep in mind that you're not the only one at risk — a driver can lose control of their vehicle while attempting to avoid a distracted pedestrian.
In an attempt to reduce accidents, New York lawmakers recently proposed a ban on texting while walking across the street. Hopefully, other cities will follow suit.
To your health,
President, Longevity Insider HQ