Health, disease, environment, poverty. These are popular issues that attract a lot of attention, resources, and support. However, as society evolves (for better or worse), numerous new issues continue to emerge.
Over the next four weeks we will feature issues that have been making headlines in the last few months. They’re issues that wouldn’t have crossed our mind a decade ago, but today they affect more and more people on a day to day basis.
Issue #1: Distracted walkers a.k.a human obstacles, often seen on busy city streets and likely to run into you and/or various inanimate objects. Most commonly found texting on their smart phones or listening to music at high volumes.
Why it matters: Tuning out to your surroundings results in a dangerous environment, not only for the distracted walker but for those in the vicinity of him/her as well. Extreme examples that have made the news include incidents of walking into a mall fountain, off of a pier or into a bear as a result of being distracted.
How it came to our attention: While at first it may seem harmless, or even funny, the little research that has been gathered on this topic shows that distracted walking is leading to an increase in the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
How it has been addressed:
Below are two different approaches that have been taken to address this very issue.
1. In this Op-Doc for the New York Times, filmmaker Casey Neistat shows us the proper etiquette for texting on-the-go.
2. The Pedestrian Council of Australia takes a more direct approach by highlighting the consequences.
And if you simply can’t put your phone down, buy the Type n Walk app. This app uses the camera feature on your Smartphone to allow you to see what’s in front of you while you walk and text – you never know when a bear will be lurking around the corner.
Have you had encounters with distracted walkers? Are you guilty of this yourself? We’d love to know if you think this is an issue that needs more attention.
Heather and Andrea K.