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Medicine Technology

Emergency Room Visits From Distracted Walking Skyrocket (cbsnews.com) 142

schwit1 writes: An estimated ten percent of pedestrian injuries that land people in emergency rooms are due to distracted walking, a recent study found. That's thousands of people injured — sometimes killed. In San Diego, investigators believe Joshua Burwell may have been trying to take a picture of the sunset when he took a fatal fall some 40 feet off Sunset Cliffs. "A lot of people don't admit that they do it," said Dr. Claudette Lajam, an orthopedic surgeon. "It's getting worse as we have more and more features on these devices that we carry around with us that can distract us."
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Emergency Room Visits From Distracted Walking Skyrocket

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Last thing I'd want to see.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Glad I'm not the only one that couldn't understand this headline without reading it a couple of times.

      "What the hell is a distracted walking skyrocket?"

      • Same here, but it sure does sound like something that will send you to the emergency room

        • by rossdee ( 243626 )

          In a number of countries, New Years Eve is a time for letting off fireworks. I am sure there will be some injuries and burns

          and the firdt thing I thought of when I read the headline was the great panjandrum

      • by wjcofkc ( 964165 )
        You beat me to it. I just woke up and read that five or six times before my eyes met the summary. Talk about confused. At least it made me smile.
        • I read the headline the same way-- a walking skyrocket went to the emergency room while distracted.

          I couldn't figure out what the heck this was about, but I figured it was a reprint from News of the Weird [newsoftheweird.com].

        • by arth1 ( 260657 )

          You beat me to it. I just woke up and read that five or six times before my eyes met the summary. Talk about confused. At least it made me smile.

          Or someone in Star Wars epidose VII, which I haven't had a chance to see yet.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by ED-Z Ward ( 2987517 )
        Talking about strange headlines, one of my country most read newspapers published the following headline: "Law and Justice: Two hands of the same arm"
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Enquiring minds want to know what distracted that walking skyrocket and what kind of treatment it got at the hospital.

      • Those kids and their fads, yesterday it was that ice bucket challenge, today it's distracted walking skyrocket...

    • I think it was supposed to be "rocking Skywalker"

      With the new Star Wars movie out, this is definitely news for nerds.

    • by clovis ( 4684 )

      I remember when we were first discussing about using skyrocket as a verb. I told everyone it was a mistake.
      Did anyone listen? Did they?
      And do you see what happened? Now do you see?

  • I win?

  • Personally (Score:4, Informative)

    by liqu1d ( 4349325 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @09:20AM (#51208111)
    I wish they'd take a step back and let natural selection take its course.
  • by sbrown7792 ( 2027476 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @09:20AM (#51208119)
    At least reading Slashdot isn't dange^^&*((_-/... NO CARRIER
  • I have a plan... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @09:23AM (#51208127) Journal
    Since most of these distractions are probably smartphone related, and contemporary smartphones tend to have pretty substantial activity-logging capabilities and sensor packages, it would be technically feasible to get an 'aircraft blackbox' style snapshot of what was going on at the time of the injury.

    Anyone know if you could get away with an insurance policy that demands such data, in the event of a claim, and then attempts to deny coverage for any costs deemed to have been incurred because of negligent distraction? Just think of how many claims you could deny with the right data...
    • by vikingpower ( 768921 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @09:59AM (#51208301) Homepage Journal

      Sounds like a typically American plan.

    • Anyone know if you could get away with an insurance policy that demands such data

      Plenty do it for cars, and if you thought that was a good idea, you're a moron.

      All that happens is that if there is any at all indication of you doing something 'dangerous', your rate goes up.

      No ones rate goes down, everyone will still pay AT LEAST what they pay now, but most people will pay more for the 'danger' tax.

      Just think of how bad of an idea it is to even mention it.

    • Great, another piece of technology that you supposedly own and is willing to 'rat you out' to the System
    • Better yet, lets just make walking while distracted illegal. Think of all the lives we could save. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
      • Better yet, lets just make walking while distracted illegal. Think of all the lives we could save. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

        [SELF] Rushes off to buy shares in a prison company.

    • by nytes ( 231372 )

      Anyone know if you could get away with an insurance policy that demands such data, in the event of a claim, and then attempts to deny coverage for any costs deemed to have been incurred because of negligent distraction? Just think of how many claims you could deny with the right data...

      Hang on, I'll look it up on my smartpho!@#$!#$#RFAEKSF

  • Ugh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jethro ( 14165 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @09:25AM (#51208137) Homepage

    I might just be tired, but it took me forever to figure out what a walking skyrocket is.

    • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

      Yeah, me too and be careful, if they're distracted they could put you in hospital.

    • I might just be tired, but it took me forever to figure out what a walking skyrocket is.

      I'm tired AND drunk, and I would have gotten it right away, but I was trying to tweet out a picture of my dick, and accidentally walked into a busy intersection.

    • Now I'm thinking of writing a cellphone app called "Skyrocket", that lets you video yourself while walking.
  • It is the predicted Zombie Apocalypse. Leave it to darwyn and the problem will fix itself.
  • Walking and texting (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Theovon ( 109752 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @09:29AM (#51208163)

    In all seriousness, texting while doing something else has become a conspicuous problem. Probably not worse than all of the other “problems” that have occurred throughout history whenever a new technology arose, but nevertheless something we’re going to have to adapt to. Texting while driving seems insane, and speech-to-text doesn’t help a whole hell of a lot. Then again, some people seem to have trouble adjusting their radio settings without crashing.

    The interesting thing about texting while walking is that making a law about it also seems absurd. You’re not operating heavy equipment, just mostly putting yourself at risk of tripping. And if you injure someone else, then there are already laws that address the liability there. A huge factor here comes down to the individual’s talents at multitasking and using peripheral vision. I know that I can text while walking because long before cell phones, I’d already developed good use of both multitasking and peripheral vision, so like many others I have observed, I can walk and text and manage to not trip on unexpected obstacles, bump into other people, walk in front of cars, etc.

    However, lots of people are not good at this yet insist on doing it anyway. That being said, this isn’t a lot different from many other risky activities people engage in that we can’t and shouldn’t try to regulate, like excessive alcohol, weed, unprotected sex, and driving while stupid. We can only address the after-effects when people harm others as a result of acting irresponsibly.

    • by twdorris ( 29395 )

      And if you injure someone else, then there are already laws that address the liability there.

      As I'm sure you know, that's absolutely irrelevant in the minds of elected officials looking to act on the latest headlines. The only saving point in this particular case is that it really has to be beyond that "crazy threshold" to consider passing a law that makes it illegal to walk and chew gum, I mean text, at the same time. SURELY that's clearly going to far in government regulation. Please, please, let there be some small hint of sanity left.

    • by tomxor ( 2379126 )

      Laws against texting while walking would be absurd, but people do it all the time and i can see why it's dangerous, it's also really annoying when you're trying to walk on a busy pavement, i've had to resort to saying "look out" when someone in front of me has their head firmly glued in the downward position and i have no where to go, most of the time it just means they wander aimlessly into people and everyone else has to walk around them - in rare cases i've encountered a mob of mobile zombies and just ha

      • Laws against texting while walking would be absurd, but people do it all the time and i can see why it's dangerous, it's also really annoying when you're trying to walk on a busy pavement, i've had to resort to saying "look out" when someone in front of me has their head firmly glued in the downward position and i have no where to go, most of the time it just means they wander aimlessly into people and everyone else has to walk around them - in rare cases i've encountered a mob of mobile zombies and just had to stop to let them sense my presence and navigate around me as if the only way they can see their surroundings is by feel

        I just bump into these people. I let them walk right into me. I love the startled look they have! And if they're in front of me, walking slowly on a busy street, I am sure to make shoulder contact as I brush by them. These people are oblivious.

        • by tomxor ( 2379126 )
          I used to do that sort of thing, like shouting "DIVISIBILITY" will running at unwilling solid walls of opposing pedestrians... i've since learned to calm down :)
    • In all seriousness, texting while doing something else has become a conspicuous problem.

      And how - I've personally saved two young ladies who were texting and walking out into traffic. Both gave me a nasty look at first, then realized the situation and thanked me.

      They both went right back to testing, however

      • And how - I've personally saved two young ladies who were texting and walking out into traffic. Both gave me a nasty look at first, then realized the situation and thanked me.

        That could be the beginning of an excellent Penthouse Forum story.

        • And how - I've personally saved two young ladies who were texting and walking out into traffic. Both gave me a nasty look at first, then realized the situation and thanked me.

          That could be the beginning of an excellent Penthouse Forum story.

          Hehe..... I don't usually write letters to the forum, but the most amazing thing happened to me the other day...........

          Brat - you got me thinking - they were both cute...

      • They both went right back to testing, however

        Sound like they failed.

    • by MacTO ( 1161105 )

      Why is the bit about "not operating heavy equipment" relevant in many (if not most) cases? You're probably surrounded by heavy equipment if you're walking around a public place. In that respect, it isn't terribly different from the typical workplace where everyone is responsible for following safety protocols. It doesn't matter if you're the person operating the machine or a visitor who is on a tour. Whether people should be surrounded by heavy equipment in public places is another question, but it is t

  • Have the device warn the user IF the device is in motion and having active inputs and getting close to an obstacle.
    • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @09:55AM (#51208283) Journal

      So you want a technological solution to solve a human-induced problem created by technology?

      I guess using the 2 pounds of gray matter rattling around in one's skull is too obvious a solution.

      Screw technology, let people maim or kill themselves. If they're too stupid to be aware of their surroundings, nature will take its course.

      This is no different than our ancestors from tens of thousands of years ago who didn't keep an eye out for dangers around them. They were removed from the gene pool.

      • This is no different than our ancestors from tens of thousands of years ago who didn't keep an eye out for dangers around them. They were removed from the gene pool.

        That only works if it removes them prior to reproduction. Otherwise it's merely a tragedy, not a Darwin Award because they have not removed themselves from the gene pool.

        • by hattig ( 47930 )

          I think the best way to enforce further evolution for humanity is to introduce a form of artificial selection.

          In this case, killing dumb people. Just as the weak one is sacrificed to the lion, shall the dumb one be sacrificed to the ... well, maybe we could televise that.

          If, in any given year, you are in the bottom 1% of usefulness (criteria to be determined, but maybe appearing on daytime TV will count), you will get 'reaped'. That should provide a good incentive to improve oneself, and hence improve socie

      • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @11:34AM (#51208851)

        Screw technology, let people maim or kill themselves.

        That's fine when it's only them who get affected. Frequently it's not them we give a shit about, but the others that they injury either physically or psychologically in the process. A close friend of mine ran into someone who was distracted with his phone who stepped on to the cycling lane without looking. The guy started abusing my friend because his phone was knocked out of his hand and broken. But my friend didn't care because he was too busy being unconscious on the ground.

        Similarly a friend of the family was a truck driver. Emphasis on the was part. He ran over and killed a young cyclist who was off with the fairies headphones blasting rock music and all and clearly didn't see a the red light. He can no longer drive. He's psychologically messed up even though the very short investigation concluded he was 0% at fault.

        I'm all for Darwin awards but karma can sometimes be a slow and unfair bastard affecting innocent bystanders.

      • So you want a technological solution to solve a human-induced problem created by technology?

        Yes, I do. Or rather I want to live in a community where people use all the tools available to protect themselves against threats to their safety. People have such an oversimplified understanding of how natural selection works. It's not only the individual who has to be strongest, it's the individual and it's family and it's community.

        In the classic example of a lion pride we think of the male lion who has to be strong enough to procreate. We forget that for a lion pride to thrive it has to eat, and it's

    • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

      The device... the walking skyrocket you mean? Are you telling me there's some kind of safety button for when these skyrockets get distracted?

    • by nytes ( 231372 )

      Better yet, have the device take a selfie video as the collision occurs and automatically post it to youtube.

  • by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @09:39AM (#51208219)
    About the Distracted Walking Skyrocket?

    Or...

    A Distracted Skyrocket walks into an emergency room and says to the intake nurse...
  • it always wins.

    • by iTrawl ( 4142459 )

      It will just select the best face-in-screen walkers out there. Soon enough we'll have plenty people able to cross a busy street while playing Time Waste Saga without getting run over.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      Is it any wonder that the iOS system predecessor was named .... Darwin?

      Steve Jobs throwing some chlorine into the gene pool.

  • Let insurance companies raise the premiums 100-300% and let government programs bill back the cost of the coverage to every source of incoming including food stamps.

  • by 12WTF$ ( 979066 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @09:58AM (#51208293)

    Lovely Japanese take on the curse of distracted walking:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    Bump: 66% of people have run into others when using a smartphone while walking.
    Fall: 3.6 % of people have fallen from a platform when texting while walking.
    Trip: 18% of people have tripped when using a smartphone while walking.
    99% of people think using a smartphone while walking is dangerous.
    73% of people have used a smartphone while walking.
    Please look forward when you are walking.
    Using a smartphone while walking is dangerous.

  • Natural selection.
  • As always (Score:3, Informative)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @10:31AM (#51208451)

    Think of it as evolution in action.

    • by phorm ( 591458 )

      Unfortunately it's probably like drunk/distracted driving. For some reason, the person doing the completely idiotic thing is often *not* the one who perishes, but instead makes others victims of his/her stupidity.

  • I would love a visit from a distracted walking skyrocket. It would boost my spirits.

  • In the good old days, people had trouble walking while chewing gum.

  • Turn your camera on so you can see what is in front of you "through" your phone by making it "transparent"

  • I hope the new version of Google Glass flashes a red warning icon to indicate the wearer is about to fall off a cliff
  • So, how many of you making the jokes about the walking skyrocket, who didn't understand it immediately, are reading this on your mobile device? Wonder if I can annoy you enough so that you walk into a wall while reading my post on a mobile....

    You're idiots. And I'm just waiting for the studies any time now showing an epidemic of carpal tunnel from thumb-typing on virtual keyboards.

    mark "no idiot annoyaphone here"

  • Who says natural selection is dead

  • There should be a law!

    No, there shouldn't. The cell phone is still, historically speaking, quite new. People will figure out that it's not smart to walk around with your face in the phone. But being human, we all seem to have to figure it out individually.

    It wasn't so long ago when people would sit at restaurant tables talking out loud on their (dumb) phones, ignoring the people they were with. That trend has mostly gone away, replaced by people texting or playing video games at those same tables. It w

    • personally, I think that having a smartphone is stupid... why buy a device for hundreds of dollars and have a monthly payment for services for hundreds of dollars when you have to care for it because it's as strong as a pane of glass... when i can have a mobile phone for 30$ and a contract for 100$ a year to make important calls only and have the rest of my calls on a landline?
  • The "no news is good news" phenomenon is a plague. So long as the action does not result in a sentinel event (e.g. a crash, getting pulled over, an injury, etc) the experience is piled into the positive outcomes category in the brain. Over time one becomes overconfident. This can be applied to many things like driving, driving and texting, texting and walking, etc. The way to break free from this cycle is through objective feedback. Watch this for about 5 minutes starting at 18:15 and apply it to everything
  • I am that dufus head who walked into Lampost.

  • Or am I the only one that becomes slightly annoyed with people who meander around while texting oblivious to anything or anyone around them. It's like a randomly moving slalom course at the mall.

If computers take over (which seems to be their natural tendency), it will serve us right. -- Alistair Cooke

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