Distracted Walking

Distracted walking can be dangerous.

Whether you’re using your cell phone or reading a document off the printer, you can miss hazards such as surface and elevation changes. These are common contributing factors in incidents and near-miss incidents and can result in employee injuries.

What Employers Can Do

In the spirit of keeping your coworkers safe, please intervene. It can be as simple as saying, “Please be careful!” It’s a helpful way to show you care about your coworker’s safety. Also, don’t forget to set a good example by refraining from distracted walking yourself.

Safety Tips

How to prevent distracted walking:

  • Never walk while texting or talking on the phone
  • Never cross the street while using an electronic device
  • Do not walk with headphones in your ears

How to avoid slips, trips and falls:

  • Walking is working, so avoid walking distracted and stay focused on your surroundings
  • Apply the “be here now” concept when walking to recognize and avoid distractions
  • Wear shoes that are slip-resistant and that provide support to the ankle
  • Don’t carry too much – you need your arms to maintain balance and stability
  • Take your time and don’t rush – we can wait an extra minute for your safety


  • In 2017, 773 pedestrians were involved in crashes
  • 20% of pedestrian crashes (156) involved non-intersection crossings
  • The majority of crashes involving pedestrians (436) occurred between the hours of 3-10 p.m.


Out of 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Governors Highway Safety Association ranked Oklahoma tied for 36th in pedestrian fatalities by state per 100,000 population in 2018. New Mexico was No. 1 with a rate of 2.26. Oklahoma, with a rate of 0.56, was listed alongside Montana (0.56).

  • An estimated 6,227 pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2018, according to GHSA
  • Since 2013, pedestrian fatalities involving SUVs increased by 50%, compared to 30% for passenger cars
  • What about cities? GHSA examined FARS data and concluded pedestrian fatalities held steady or dipped slightly in 9 of the 10 U.S. cities with the largest populations during the period from 2016 to 2017, including Houston (79 to 73),  San Antonio (64 to 45) and Dallas (57 to 52)