New safety hazard: Heads-down ‘texting’

We know about cell-phone-addled drivers, and wireless headset users who appear to be talking loudly to no one in particular. Now we have people typing furiously into their cellphones, BlackBerries and iPhones — heads down — and smacking right into poles or walls or other people.

Update: Forecaster Paul Saffo calls them “pedtextrians.”

A Chicago emergency room sees victims of texting incidents nearly every day, according to a Wall Street Journal article (25 July 2008). The fallen texters are prone to facial injuries, because they tend to hold the devices so close to their faces that their hands are less likely to break their fall. The common result: scraped chins, noses and foreheads (and broken glasses).

In London, some lamposts were outfitted with padded bumpers to cut down on injuries to errant texters (though it was a publicity stunt).

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