The Great Hang-Up: Distracted pedestrians

    1:23 AM, Jul 16, 2011   |    comments
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    UNDATED (KTHV)-- Pedestrians have the right-of-way according to the Arkansas state law. But often enough a walker who's texting or talking doesn't take safe strides.

    Despite the warmer weather, perhaps because of it-- people are going to walk -- and they're going to talk.

    For that busy pedestrian who requires constant contact-- a reminder to hang it up when you hit the streets.

    "If you're a pedestrian and you're walking across the street, you're going to cross the street, you're listening to music through your earphones, you're talking on your cell phone, your head is down--you're distracted! You may not realize you've put yourself at greater risk," says Jon Swanson.

    Swanson, executive director of MEMS in Little Rock calls it a "careless moment" - someone talking---or texting---pays more attention to that conversation than where they're actually walking.

    "They can without realizing it put themselves at a much greater risk and sometimes there is a very tragic consequence for that."
    A few months ago, video of a woman falling into a fountain went viral. Not paying attention to her steps ended in a big splash, national embarrassment and a lawsuit.

    Swanson says these emergency responders answer all types of calls and vehicle vs. pedestrian accidents happen.

    "It's not a common event and that may be part of the problem is because people become complacent because we all go through our normal days without having an injury or an accident or we get hurt. And so our normal day does not include an accident."

    Complacency can get us all in trouble; being comfortable with the task at hand and not your surroundings could end up with a call for an ambulance so just hang up until you reach your destination.

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