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Maryland law already prohibits drivers from texting or talking on cell phones when behind the wheel, but there’s no such law – yet – for pedestrians.
As visitors crowd the streets of Delmarva’s beach towns and more people take advantage of pleasant weather to get out and walk, it is becoming increasingly important to remind people that cell phones and traffic do not mix, even if you’re on foot.
Don’t think it’s a serious problem? Then bear this statistic from the Federal Highway Administration in mind: a pedestrian is killed or injured every seven minutes. A study published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention in 2008 found that mobile phone users crossed unsafely into oncoming traffic significantly more than non-phone users. The study observed pedestrians at a busy intersection; 72 percent of people who were using cell phones walked across the street despite an approaching car.
Don’t ruin your summer, or possibly your life, by becoming a trauma statistic. Keep your phone in your pocket while walking, be aware of your surroundings and remember to stay safe this summer.
“Our goal is great health for our community,” said Clark Willis, MD, Medical Director of Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s Robert T. Adkins, M.D. Emergency/Trauma Center. “Though we give excellent care, safety thinking and prevention can be the best way to stay healthy. Using a mobile phone while walking, especially around traffic, is not only a bad idea, it’s a quick way to meet the Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s Trauma Team. Texting and traffic just don’t mix.”