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The Dangers Of Texting While Walking

Updated on May 24, 2014
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If It Happened To Me; It Can Happen To You!

The other day, while volunteering at my daughter's school, I walked straight into a pole. This incident (though totally avoidable and downright embarrassing), delivered more than just a damaging blow to the side of my face; it also left a bruise, a dash of whiplash, and a tiny bit of wisdom that I have captured in an article to share with those who are too busy talking, texting or thinking to pay attention to what is right in front of them.

Learn it; know it ––or hit a pole and make an ass out of yourself like I did.

Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

Always scan an area prior to walking through it; paying close attention to signage, poles or other obstacles that may threaten your safety. Be aware that indoor poles are often painted in a neutral color in order to "blend in" with an environment; these are what I call "Danger Poles."

Corner Poles

These are "trick poles" that are found when rounding corners. There is typically a 12-18" gap between the wall and the pole, so that; when rounding the corner, the pole is lined up perfectly with your face. Again, by creating boundaries, you will be able dodge any uncomfortable encounter that you may have otherwise had with said pole.

Indoor (And Danger) Poles

Because Danger Poles are harder to spot than other poles, you must create an imaginary boundary around them to avoid an incident. The best way to do this is simply to create a diversion path that you plan to follow consistently. For example, if the pole is on the left-hand side of the hallway, you should stay on the right.

Street Signs

The guidelines below are not limited to poles; they can also be able applied to telephone poles, street signs and other miscellaneous advertisements found on any public sidewalk. An example is depicted in this video of Kanye West christening a "Wrong Way" street sign with is head.

Distracted Walking: Cause And Effect

The following are examples of unconscious behavior while walking and recommendations on how you can avoid becoming a statistic.

In extreme cases; where poor vision or debilitating eye-related injuries are a factor, I would suggest picking up a Blind Cane as shown in the example on the right.

Time To Fess Up...

Have you ever texted while walking?

See results

Texting While Walking

Seems simple enough; but how are you supposed to see what's in front of you when you are looking down?

Always err on the side of caution when texting: Keep your head up, device down, and eyes straight ahead at all times; it's the only way to ensure 100% risk-free coverage. And just for the record, the padded pole was MY idea (until I watched this CNN report)!

Did you know that texting while walking is ILLEGAL in some states? That's right; New Jersey (among others) has initiated an $85 fine if you're caught doing it!

Dying To Text? You Just Might BE!

It's hard not to laugh when someone walks into a pole, especially when they do it while texting; but what if it's not a pole? What if they step in front of a moving car or walk into a street performer juggling knives?

Yeah, not so much.

Real injuries are on the rise; even death seems to be a growing trend for people who are texting while walking ––so why do it? I don't know about you, but the last thing I'd want is to wake up in a shallow grave that I fell into while updating my Facebook status!

Maybe it's time we reassess our values and put down that damn phone. What's the going rate on a tweet these days, anyhow; is it worth a trip to the ER?

As you can see by the articles below, the numbers are staggering when it comes to walking into things, and if we don't get a grip on it now, its only going to get worse. Would you let your child cross the street while texting? Guess what... They're GOING TO unless we teach them now!

Use Your Walking Legs

You never want to be caught running (or walking fast) down a hallway or street that contains more than zero poles or obstructions, especially when your mind isn't with you. I can tell you, first hand, that walking into a pole is painful enough; running will (no doubt) knock you out. Still not convinced? This video will show you what can happen if you walk too fast while not paying attention; lucky for him it WASN'T a pole (or at least it didn't "sound" like one).

Suggest: Zombie Walk

One preventative measure you could take to avoid walking into an obstruction would be placing your hands in front of you and slowing down your pace ––like a zombie. However, this won't help if you're about to walk off a bridge, so you might want to just stick to the basics and pay attention.

This video; though annoyingly loud, will teach you the proper procedure for such a task.

Wouldn't it be weird if EVERYONE walked backwards?

Walking Backwards Can Have Its Downfalls

Occasionally, while walking, someone may pop their head out of a doorway with a question or a statement that they wish to share. If this happens; do not turn around and continue walking. This can result in a back-head pummel, which may cause you to bite off your tongue (you can thank me later for not finding a video of THAT).

Daydreaming

It's fun to escape from life sometimes, but is it wise? Not when there are poles nearby! Stay focused as you maneuver your way to that final destination; the last thing you want to take with you is a bruise to the ego and a face to match.

Avoid Small Talk (Especially Near A Corner Pole)

When you are walking and talking, it is not unusual to look at the person you are speaking with. But the pole doesn't care, and it will still be there when you look up ––boom. As you can see from this YouTube clip, a common street pole can be quite painful when hit head on (pun intended).

Don't Be A Statistic... Be Alert!

What Have We Learned?

I wasn't texting; wasn't running, I was just walking to the bathroom with a friend and happened to look away while approaching a corner pole.

Perhaps I should have called this article, "The Dangers Of NOT PAYING ATTENTION While Walking," but the more I researched the subject, the more I became aware of a growing epidemic in a culture that is driven by technology.

If you've learned nothing from this article, learn this: texting and walking is estúpido; just like not paying attention ––so don't do it!

Turns out, your mother IS always right, and you really should listen to her when she screams at you to, "Watch where you're going!"

© 2014 Lisa René LeClair

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    • Mark Ewbie profile image

      Mark Ewbie 3 years ago from Euroland

      I was reading this excellent article about not texting and walked straight into the path of a rather large woman. This has caused me some bruising and I will be instructing my lawyers to do something.

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      LMAO Of COURSE you did! ;-)

    • MJennifer profile image

      Marcy J. Miller 3 years ago from Arizona

      This was great fun, Sassy. I don't dare text while walking … I'm clumsy enough I walk into things without even the excuse of being distracted. It's rare I can miss any obstacle in the same zip code, actually. Walls fear me.

      In defense of the practice, though, wouldn't it be better if the people who can't refrain from texting while doing other things just happened to walk into wood chippers and eliminate themselves from the gene pool rather than taking the rest of us out while they're texting and driving?

      Best -- Mj

    • Bk42author profile image

      Brenda Thornlow 3 years ago from New York

      Love this hub! I work in Manhattan so I do a lot of walking, it drives me nuts to see people trying to text and walk at the same time. I've even seen a couple of close calls where they've almost been hit by cars or bicyclists. Something else that's common to see...people actually reading books while they're walking! Voted up!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      This was fun, I guess at your expense, but people need to become alert to the dangers. It makes me think of the fun you could have with nonobservant people, placing various items in their path.

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      MJennifer Uh... That would mean that "I" might be chipped up in a million pieces! *Shivers* Helluva way to go!

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      Bk42author Thanks! This is the first Hub I've done that wasn't featured, so I guess I have some work to do later... That's what I get for publishing on a day when my mind is elsewhere. ;-0

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      FlourishAnyway Ha ––LOVE IT! I'm thinking, "Full length mirror or plexiglass?!" ;-)

    • MJennifer profile image

      Marcy J. Miller 3 years ago from Arizona

      Oh heck no, Sassy, I'd warn you … unless you're one who engages in DWT on the freeway! I realized after it was too late to edit how my comment sounded … my apologies to the texting-while-walking community!

      Best -- MJ

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      hahaha You should see me at home. Sometimes I'll have all three devices out at the same time. But I only do that when I'm sitting down. ;-)

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Guilty, your honor! Lol! It happened to me while on my way to the big tube (in one of my flights) and while pulling my luggage with my other hand. So, embarrassing that my fellow FA walking behind me just offered to take my luggage but she couldn't contain her laugh and so, we just laugh it off.

      But yes, points taken. Don't do it again!

      I love your wit! Voting up, funny and useful as well. Oh, and I'm sharing the goodness! :)

    • Hackslap profile image

      Harry 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Down here in Sydney there're proposals to reduce downtown speed limits to 40 KPH (or 25 MPH) due to 3 pedestrian deaths (at least two of them occurring due to buses hitting them .. . motorists aren't always at fault though .. pedestrians are increasingly walking about in their own world hooked on to their ipods and phones not realizing what's around them..

      Good hub... Vvoted up!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      This is hilarious! Great writing. Thank you for the laugh.

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      Thanks, CrisSp! Glad I'm not alone. Pretty sure someone dumped Clorox in my gene pool. ;-)

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      Hackslap It's happening everywhere... There's even an app that shows a background image of what is in front of you so you don't hit it. I used it the day I walked into the mens locker room at the gym. ;-)

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      CraftytotheCore :-) Thanks for READING it! Laughter is the best medicine; unfortunately it didn't cure my face!

    • profile image

      dragonflycolor 3 years ago

      Isn't sad that we now have to be so aware of where we walk while using our phones? Trending articles are in excess on this topic because so many people have repeated the process of injuring themselves while texting. You would think that phone companies would take some social responsibility and remove texting capabilities, but I have heard that texting has helped save someone's life. Sort of like a Catch 22. Thanks for the laugh, by the way!

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      It is a definite catch22; hard to imagine what our lives were like before cell phones. I can't remember the last time I even SAW a pay phone! My guess is that it's only going to get worse... Technology IS the devil wearing Prada! ;-)

    • profile image

      mbuggieh 3 years ago

      Excellent hub! Just what I needed this morning...thanks!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Funny hub Sassy, but very relevant. It is strange to see people walking without talking or texting on their phones. I don't do it....I rarely use my cell phone other than for emergency calls, but I have been guilty of walking into poles and the such while talking to someone or being distracted. I can see why deaths and injuries would be on the increase due to cell phone use. Well written, great cartoon pics too. Voted up.

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      Thanks mbuggieh! ;-)

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      Thanks, Jodah... I've been walking into poles for years - it's nice to know I'm not alone. ;-)

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      Thank you, CraftytotheCore!! Obviously I haven't been on in a while! ;-o

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I've yet to wipeout while texting and walking. That said, I've had about a million near misses with poles, walls, curbs, etc. you'd figure I'd learn my lesson:-)

      Very funny hub.

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