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Are You Guilty of “Texting” While Walking?

Sakura is strolling in town with her friend Timothy. Unexpectedly, she bumps shoulders with a chap who is walking along while looking at his smartphone.

Experience Disaster-Preparedness While Enjoying Yourself!

Sakura

Ouch!

Timothy

Are you alright? Are you injured?

Sakura

I’m fine, just a bit shaken. I tried to get out of the way, but he was totally unaware of me. That chap was totally engrossed with the screen of his smartphone.

Timothy

Recently there are many people looking at their smartphones while walking or riding bicycles. I’ve seen dangerous situations where people crash into others, or collide head-on with telephone poles and other immovable objects.

Sakura

My work colleague was also injured because they were texting while walking. They were totally ignorant of an oncoming bicycle and collided with it as a result. The person concerned was actually very lucky to get away with just light bruising.

Timothy

In America, a society dominated by the automobile, many people have been seriously injured because they’ve been hit by vehicles while preoccupied with their smartphones.

Sakura

Here in Japan, people texting on crowded railway station platforms and when using stairwells has become a serious issue. Some have lost their footing while operating smartphones when using stairwells. Others have even ended up on the railway tracks because they’ve fallen off station platforms.

Timothy

I’ve heard more and more people are ending up in hospital each year due to smartphone-related accidents such as texting while walking. There have even been life-threatening situations. Accordingly, we need to think about such things more seriously.

The two friends begin to think about why people don’t stop texting while walking.

Sakura

I believe everybody already knows that texting while walking is dangerous. That being said, why do so many people do it? I must admit that on occasion I also walk while checking my e-mail.

Timothy

I’m also guilty sometimes. I suppose I fall into the trap of thinking “just a little is okay”, or that “everybody around me is also doing it”.

Sakura

However, if you lower your line of sight to look at a smartphone screen, you can’t really appreciate what is happening around you. You also become ignorant of sounds such as bicycles and vehicles. It really does become a dangerous set of circumstances.

Timothy

And it’s not just a case of putting yourself at risk. There is also the risk of involving others. What would happen if another party who couldn’t get out of your way happened to be a small child or a senior citizen? What if they were disabled?

Sakura

That’s a really scary thought. Being injured personally or injuring somebody else is not a nice idea. Accordingly, in the future when using my smartphone outdoors, I intend to be both immobile and stand out of harm’s way.

Timothy

Me too, because it is too late to regret your actions after an accident has occurred.

Tokyo Fire Department: Be Careful of Accidents Resulting from Texting while Walking, etc.!!
http://www.tfd.metro.tokyo.jp/lfe/topics/201403/mobile.html (in Japanese only)