WATCH WHERE YOU’RE GOING
Are you guilty of ‘wexting’ (walking while texting)? Apart from causing ‘pavement rage’ (bumping into other pedestrians), wexting and mobile phone distractions such as talking and listening to music are thought to be a contributor to a 2018 spike in pedestrian accidents in Australia.
While we don’t have a ‘distracted walking’ law like Hawaii, pedestrians can be fined as much as $105 in some states for walking “without consideration to other road users”. The problem has become so widespread that in Sydney and Melbourne, red in-ground pavement lights on the curb and in the guttering area are being trialled on certain streets of the city as a way of alerting wexters to the fact they are about to step into oncoming traffic.
Meanwhile, research from Queensland’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety, shows that dialing, texting and talking on a mobile phone while driving causes measurable concentration blips. These include slower reactions times and a drop in your ability to judge distances, speed and space.
Take home message? It’s a no-brainer really. If you’re in motion, whether walking, cycling or driving a car, put your mobile phone in your bag, ignore that ping or ring and keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.