Most people have bumped into something or someone when trying to walk and look at their smartphone at the same time. New research indicates people are becoming injured at increasing rates, as a result of gadget use.
The U.K.’s National Accident Helpline reports that 41 percent of people have had injurious technological accidents, with teenagers and 20-somethings being the most frequently hurt smartphone users.
Common Smartphone Injuries
You may be surprised to learn how deadly smartphones can be. These little handhelds have led to more deaths and injuries in more ways than anyone might have expected. Take these examples:
“Selfie” Caused Deaths
The “selfie” craze is not only annoying, but deadly. In recent studies, 50 percent more people have died in the last 12 months from selfie attempts than in shark attacks during the past year, as reported by Mashable.
Examples of selfie deaths and serious injuries include a Japanese tourist who fell down the steps of the Taj Mahal and died from head injuries while trying to take a selfie. Colorado National Park rangers recently temporarily closed the park because too many tourists were taking selfies with dangerous wild bears. Another park, Yellowstone, has been the scene of at least five bison attacks on oblivious people who were attempting to take selfies with the giant beasts. Selfie deaths have been caused by people trying to take their photo near speeding traffic, wild animals and viewpoints at dangerous heights.
Walking and Texting Injuries – Yes, it is a Thing…
A 15 year old girl fell six feet into a New York City manhole because she was walking and texting. Over 1,000 ER trips are blamed on texting while walking injuries in 2008, with more recent statistics likely being even higher as texting as increasingly replaced speaking on the phone and other forms of communication.
317 students were observed as part of a Western Washington University study in 2009. These students weaved, ran into things, put themselves in harm’s way and otherwise endangered themselves just like people impaired by drugs or alcohol, all because they were texting while walking.
Other Injures Caused by Smartphones
Smartphones have been blamed for a multitude of other injuries. Those include:
- “iPhonitis”, an injury to thumbs due to overuse of iPhones for texting, gaming and other activities
- “Tech neck”, serious strain due to injurious positioning of the neck for extended periods while looking down at a smartphone
- Selfie stick deaths, with at least two Americans being killed due to use of selfie sticks in 2015
- Broken screen injuries, people so determined to use their cell phone after cracking their phone screen suffer finger lacerations so serious that stitches are needed
- Head and body injuries, with 43 percent of young people having walked into solid objects while using their smartphone
- Face bruising, with 60 percent of young adults reporting they have dropped their smartphones onto their face while using it in a reclining position
Smartphone Injuries Behind-the-Wheel
Aaron Crane, a familiar and long-time car accident attorney of Cantor Crane says self-inflicted injuries are not the only problem for smartphone users. In fact, motor vehicle accidents caused by smartphone use while driving are on the rise.
Aaron Crane said, “Phoenix car accidents are most often caused by distracted driving. Smartphones are frequently the cause of distraction in these accidents, linking smartphones directly to an increasing number of injuries and deaths. These devices do not just distract the driver from the focus required to safely drive. They also take eyes off of the road and hands off the wheel.”
Studies in the United States, Australia and England all indicate that four times more risk for car crashes is inherent in use of a smartphone while driving. Increased death, injury and property damage have all been attributed to cell phone use behind the wheel.
Attorneys recommend being smarter about smartphone use, not using cell phones or other handheld devices at all while driving, walking or performing other tasks simultaneously. These devices are meant for convenience but can easily be deadly. Most people believe themselves capable of multitasking while using a smartphone. But the National Safety Commission has reported that the human brain is unable to support talking on the phone while performing other tasks at full quality, at the same time.
If you have been injured or suffered property damage due to someone else’s use of a smartphone while driving, call an experienced car accident lawyer today. Because using a cell phone or other device while driving is distracted driving, you may be due compensation for your suffered damages.
Thanks to our friend and blog author, Aaron Crane of Cantor Crane, for his insight into the increase in smartphone related accidents.