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Getting a New Phone for Christmas? Are You a Safe Texter?

By Principal Lawyer, Personal Injury - Serious Injuries

With only a few days left until Christmas, many people across the country will be looking forward to unwrapping their presents on Christmas Day, hoping that their wish of receiving a brand new phone has come true.

Pedestrian Texting

Having just received a new phone, people are understandably keen to use it as much as possible and show it off to friends and family. Knowing how to use a phone safely, however, and knowing when not to use it at all is something that all of us should be aware of.

Most, if not all of us, will at some point have been walking down the street transfixed by the screen of our mobile phone and not looking where we are going. “What harm can it do?!” I hear you exclaim. Well, read on…

Reports of injuries sustained when using mobile phones include walking into fountains, off piers, onto train tracks and off a multi-storey car park.

The results of a mobile phone safety poll, published by price comparison site confused.com who surveyed 2,000 respondents, revealed that nearly a third said their mobile phone has distracted them from looking for traffic on the roads. It has been reported that, in 2011, around 1,000 people attended Emergency Departments in the US as a result of texting-related injuries.

This is not surprising, according to the results of a small-scale study from the University of Queensland in Australia. This study tracked participants while they walked a distance of around nine metres – once while texting, once while reading a text and once without any form of distraction. It was noted that, when people walk and use their phone, they slow down and swerve - even if they think they are walking in a straight line.

Participants were also observed to be walking “like a robot” when using their phone. This, it was suggested, upsets a person’s balance, making them more susceptible to tripping. The report also found that more than one third of the people who took part in the study reported having some sort of accident while texting or reading whilst walking with their phone.

If you are lucky enough to receive a brand new phone on Christmas Day, please use it safely.

 

Andrew Zajac is a serious injuries solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Cambridge.

For a free consultation, call us 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help you.

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