From time-to-time, one of THOSE videos captures your attention on social media or makes its way on to the nightly news. You know the kind: a distracted walker takes a spill.
Sure, they’re funny – but only to a point. When someone takes a tumble, they could be injured. Distraction is a factor that has contributed to a rise in pedestrian and cycling incidents across America. Crashes involving people and vehicles do not end well for people.
In fact, the Governors Highway Safety Association reports 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2017. That accounts for 16% of all traffic fatalities and represents a 1.7% increase from 2016. Sure, many pedestrian incidents occur at night and involve people walking outside of crosswalks. Many of these incidents are alcohol-related.
Since employers foot the lion’s share of the bill for crashes whether they occur on or off the job, it makes dollars and $ense for safety professionals to share basic safety tips. As people grow more addicted to their phones, that means sharing reminders to avoid distraction:
- 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
Your overriding message should be one that guides us all: Be here now. Be present. There is no need to check every ping the instant you receive a cell phone notification. A small distraction can lead to a large blooper. You don’t want to be featured in one of THOSE videos, do you?
Broken bones are no laughing matter.
– Lisa Robinson is a senior program manager with the National Safety Council