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New Jersey Police Are Handing Out Tickets for Distracted Walking Some people consider multitasking to be a positive

trait. Thanks to the busy pace of our presentday world, however, multitasking can lead to distraction which can lead to citations from police officers, or worse. In New Jersey, police officers are now handing out tickets for distracted walking. Not only is distracted driving a problem texting, reading, checking email, you name it but people also attempt to do these things while walking, which makes them a danger to themselves as others. Using smart phones, tablets, and other mobile technology causes a person not to pay attention to his or her surroundings. A police chief in New Jersey is trying to put a stop to it. In Chief Thomas Ripolis community, Fort Lee, 40 pedestrians were hit by vehicles in the first half of 2012 alone; in 2011, 74 people were hit and two died, according to CBS News. Fort Lee is a suburb of New York City. Chief Ripoli says he has observed people using their iPhones and other mobile devices, and those people simply arent paying attention to where theyre walking. Under the authority of an antijaywalking law that has been on the books since the 1950s, Ripoli has instructed his patrolmen to fine distracted walkers $54. Laws against distracted walking are difficult to pass. Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, and Utah have all tried and failed to pass such laws. Over 1,150 people visit an emergency room in the United States for treatment of injuries caused by distracted walking; that number has quadrupled over the last seven years, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Dr. Robert Glatter told ABC News that he sees between five and 10 distracted walking-related injuries during a typical week at Lenox Hill Hospital. Those injuries include:

eye injuries due to punctures; blunt head trauma resulting in concussions; facial and nasal fractures; broken toes and foot injuries; ankle injuries including serious sprains; broken limbs; and lacerations.

Texting, web browsing, or even talking on cell phones increases a persons likelihood of being struck by a vehicle, according to research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Findings from UAB Researchers UAB Professor David Schwebel and his team created a virtual world in which they were able to simulate a person crossing the street while texting. Schwebel and his team were then able to calculate human error and response time in a variety of situations. Walking is actually a complicated activity, according to the Schwebel teams research. Not only do humans need to be able to see, we also use a significant portion of our brains to safely navigate our paths, which is made more difficult in crowds and near streets with heavy traffic. Texting while walking compromises a brains ability to control our movements because reading and writing are sometimes arduous mental tasks. The brain must:

decode the sender who has sent a message; determine how to appropriately address and respond to several people; and communicate a message and control the fingers as they type it.

When the brain has too much to do at once, it is more susceptible to mistakes. Several United States governmental organizations want to ban all cell phone use while driving, but it may be a while before such an effort is made regarding distracted walking. Careless driving is a problem, but pedestrians must share the blame for accidents caused by distracted walking. If you or a loved one was involved in an injury accident and distraction played a role, contact the personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon. Call our offices at (800) LAW-2000 or visit our website, where you may complete our online contact form. These articles are provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Professional legal counsel should be sought for specific advice relevant to your circumstances.