Whenever a viral video hits the internet showing someone texting while walking and then getting into an accident as a result of their inattention, it continues to baffle me why so many people still choose to engage in that most dangerous of activities; distracted driving.
As a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer, I know that texting from behind the wheel of your car is a very dangerous activity. According the the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5,474 fatalities blamed on distracted driving in 2009 and a further 448,000 people injured. This means distracted driving was responsible for roughly 15 percent of all fatal auto accidents in 2009, and 20% of all traffic wreck injuries.
Of course, texting on your cellphone can make you less aware of your surrounding even if you're not driving. There are plenty of cases of pedestrians seriously injuring themselves because they are absorbed in the small screen of their cellphone while walking down the street. The video below shows the latest victim of distracted walking to have unfortunately found internet fame, a teenage girl in China accidentally fell into a sink hole after failing to spot caution signs along the sidewalk because she was texting on her cell phone. (It should be noted that no hazard warnings are visible in the video, but that Chinese media reports there were orange cones or yellow security tape blocking off the area around the sinkhole). Fortunately – as the video shows – the girl is doing okay, although she was understandably a little shaken up.