Recent research suggests that around 2100 people are killed every year in road accidents caused due to using phones on wheels.
Smartphones have become such an integral medium of communication that it seems nearly impossible to set them aside.
Everyone who has spent time on social media will have seen compilations of “Texting while Walking/Driving Fails”, but as funny as these may seem, it cannot be ignored as there are severe implications to the same.
Recent media reports of official statistics in this regard, mention that the number of deaths caused by distracted smartphone users often go unreported.
Though this is common knowledge, people tend to forget this when the situation to make the choice comes, and respond almost instinctively, to their phones. It was reported recently that it is human instinct that makes us prone to answer calls or texts, resulting in losing concentration and thus leading to fatal accidents.
1. Honolulu, the capital city of the state of Hawaii, U.S., has become the first major city to fine pedestrians upto 35$ using electronic devices while walking across streets.
2. In 2014, an accident hotspot in London was “pedextrian proofed” lampposts and mailboxes were covered covered in cushioning to study if this helped prevent injuries.
3. Fee for texting while driving in Qatar – QR500 (8929 INR)
“I’m guilty of texting while walking,” admitted a student, adding, “I know I’m in the wrong here, but I just can’t help myself.”
We spoke to some youngsters, who constitute about 55% of urban smartphone users about their texting habits, and what could be some effective preventive measures.
All of them seemed to be aware of the hazards of texting while on wheels, despite which many of them indulged in the same.
While some argued that walking-and-texting on the footpath should actually by safe since the footpath is meant only for pedestrians, the others were of a different opinion.
“If I have to text, I wait on the sidewalk till I’m done. But I try my best to avoid it,” said Antara Jha, 20, while Nivedita Sanjai, also 20, said that she found herself often straying onto the road while texting due to inattentiveness.
Pragati Nayak, 19, suggested creation of a phone stand that does not allow the phone to be unplugged if the car is moving, while Antara simply said, “He shouldn’t be texting.”
This summer, the Pune Police had come up with an innovative idea to spread awareness about the hazards of using smartphones on wheels. Volunteers dressed up as Yamraj, the God of Death, and confronted drivers, pedestrians who were on their phones, asking, “Yayche ahe ka?” (Do you want to come with me?).
But with increasing phone-related accidents and fatalities, it may be time for the authorities to implement stringent rules regarding the same, and levy heavy fines on the violators to prevent further fatalities.
Amulya's mission is to someday become an author of more than just fan fiction."
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