Doctors say injuries to texters-while-walking are increasing, some say ban may be needed

Emergency room doctors say injuries are up

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - We finally have a state law against texting while driving.

But how about texting while walking?

It's a growing - and dangerous - problem in South Florida.

"A lot of people make the choice of what's happening with your friends instead of what's happening right now," said Daniel Luna of Delray Beach.

Texting While Driving (TWW) is everywhere.

A few cities around the country have even banned it.

There are YouTube compilations of some unfortunate incidents.

It has also given doctors at Boca Regional Urgent Care a new worry.

"Walking into a telephone pole as they're on their phone and breaking their nose," said Dr. Aryeh Pessah. "Someone two weeks ago tripped and fell, broke their wrist."

Texting while walking is getting so much attention now because of how much of a problem its become.

Back in 2005, the Journal of Accident Analysis found there were only 256 texting while walking injuries.

But in 2010, that problem more than quintupled with more than 1,500 accidents reported.

"I'm all for a law," said Ed Rusher, who was visiting Delray Beach. "The injuries have increased so much, it's getting to a point where it's a public hazard."

Dr. Pessah once had a patient who sliced their head open after being knocked into by someone who was TWW.

Some say the sense of danger is stronger than the addiction to their phones.

"I don't text and walk because I'm just not capable," said Pat Demartino of Delray Beach. "I will talk and walk, texting no."

State Rep. Irv Slosberg, who is a major backer of driving while texting laws, says that when it comes to a texting-while-walking ban, "You can't legislate everything."

 

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