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October 20, 2015

Distracted Walking Injuries at Home and in the Workplace

Called a “significant safety threat” by the National Safety Council, distracted walking is a topic that has been coming up more and more, with the rise in injuries paralleling the eight-fold increase in cell phone use in the last 15 years.

It’s estimated that there were more than 11,000 injuries between 2000 and 2011 involving cell phone use, with talking on the phone accounting for 62 percent of injuries and nearly 80 percent involved a fall, according to the National Safety Council. Phone distractions cause people to trip, cross roads unsafely, or walk into motionless objects such as street signs, doors, or walls.

“One of the most reported workplace injury events are slips, trips and falls, so we absolutely see this as falling within that category in the workplace,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “It doesn't matter … if it's an office environment, if it's a high risk production floor or if it's out in the parking lot of the facility, distracted walking is a recipe for disaster.”

Ms. Hersman said it's difficult to track the number of occupational injuries caused by distracted walking, since workers might be reluctant to admit they were looking down at their cell phones when they were injured.

According to the statement by the National Safety Council, employers should address the risk just as they have addressed distracted driving. Pedestrians and drivers using cell phones are both impaired and too mentally distracted to fully focus on their surroundings, according to a white paper released by the National Safety Council and research published in Accident Analysis and Prevention.

Speaking of distracted driving, Summit has the training you and your drivers need to help stop this dangerous practice. Summit’s Forever And Ever: The Lasting Consequences of Distracted Driving course tells the story of a distracted driving accident that leaves an impactful and lasting message with its viewers. Based on real life situations, Forever & Ever shows how one wrong decision in one second of time can drastically change the lives of everyone involved.

Whether you’re making a call at work, while driving your vehicle, or even while walking the dog, paying attention to your surroundings rather than your screen pays off!

Be safe out there.

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