[nfb-talk] Fw: Forget Gum. Walking and Using Phone Is Risky

Wm. Ritchhart william.ritchhart at sbcglobal.net
Sat Jan 30 21:50:24 UTC 2010

People get hurt and killed on buses all the time.  Although it is mostly
because one thug is killing another.  

The issues with texting and talking on cell phones and driving is a real
serious one.  There is not a rush hour that goes by that My friend comments
on someone cutting us off, turning across us or nearly rear ending us... The
list could go on.  

It is no better with people walking and texting.  I no longer do it.  If I
have to talk or send a text, I move to the side of the walk and deal with
the phone and resume the walking when I finish.  It's just safer.  

Like John, I have been ran into pretty soundly by sighted people who were
multi-tasking.  However I generally think it's pretty funny and not in a
good way when they hurt themselves.  It's the funny like you got what you
deserve for being stupid.  Hopefully they don't hurt anybody but themselves
with their stupidity.  

Thanks, William
-----Original Message-----
From: nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of qubit
Sent: Saturday, January 30, 2010 4:09 PM
To: NFB Talk Mailing List
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Fw: Forget Gum. Walking and Using Phone Is Risky

You know, I was going to come up with an example of someone dying in a bus 
accident, but I can't think of one -- in fact, I live in Minnesota and when 
the I35 bridge collapsed a few years ago, a school bus with 40 kids and a 
driver on it plunged 40 feet and landed hard, but no one was seriously hurt.

In fact, with all the traffic that day, there were only 9 fatalities.
Lots of examples of idiots driving while texting and getting in accidents 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Heim" <jheim at math.wisc.edu>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Saturday, January 30, 2010 1:48 PM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Fw: Forget Gum. Walking and Using Phone Is Risky

I just take public transportation. Nobody ever gets killed riding the

Actually, I'm being a litle facetious. Of course, I still ride with my
friends. I am only half joking though because it does often amaze me
who they let have drivers licenses.

On Jan 30, 2010, at 10:40 AM, Antonio M. Guimaraes wrote:

> John,
> Care are not the problem, but the careless humans driving the are.
> One need not be afraid to ride, walk or fly, lest he be confined to
> his home.
> Antonio Guimaraes
> If an infinite number of rednecks riding in an infinite number of
> pickup trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an
> infinite number of highway signs, they will eventually produce all
> the world's great literary works in Braille.
> Shop online and support the NFB of RI at no additional cost to you.
> http://www.givebackamerica.com/charity.php?b=169
> Givebackamerica.org, America's Online Charity Shopping Mall
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "John G. Heim"
> <jheim at math.wisc.edu>
> To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 10:36 AM
> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Fw: Forget Gum. Walking and Using Phone Is
> Risky
>> Holy cow! A blind person was walking and talking on a cell phone?
>> Well, the guy had guts anyway.
>> Anybody else afraid to ride in cars? I mean, I'm not so afraid that
>> I refuse to do it but I just don't like riding in cars any more. It
>> makes me nervous. You're going 30 to 60 miles an hour and all
>> that's keeping you alive is that bozo sitting next to you in the
>> drivers seat. I don't know about your buddies but trusting my life
>> to those guys is pretty scary.
>> I've got one friend in particular who has to slam on the brakes and
>> yell, "Oh s**t" at least once every time we go somewhere together.
>> That guy can't keep his mind on what he's doing for 2 minutes.
>> Don't get me wrong, he's a wonderful human being but some people
>> just shouldn't be allowed to drive.
>> My fear of riding in a car really began when I read about a blind
>> congressman from somewhere down south who was killed when the car
>> he was a passenger in careened off a bridge. This was before the
>> days of cell phones but the driver was probably putzing with the
>> radio or something. Drivers are always doing that sort of thing.
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Bill Outman" <woutman at earthlink.net
>> >
>> To: "'NFB Talk Mailing List'" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>> Sent: Monday, January 25, 2010 3:53 PM
>> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Fw: Forget Gum. Walking and Using Phone Is
>> Risky
>>> Very interesting.
>>> I don't remember all the details but I heard of a blind person
>>> being killed
>>> here in Florida a couple years or so back talking on a cell and
>>> walking, not
>>> realizing he had wandered into the street.  We've all got to watch
>>> it when
>>> using our gadgets.
>>> Bill Outman
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org
>>> ] On
>>> Behalf Of John G. Heim
>>> Sent: Monday, January 25, 2010 10:49 AM
>>> To: NFB Talk Mailing List
>>> Subject: [nfb-talk] Fw: Forget Gum. Walking and Using Phone Is Risky
>>> Below is a copy of an article someone forwarded to meabout how
>>> dangerous it
>>> is to walk and use your cell phone. The reason I'm forwarding it
>>> is that I
>>> wwork on the campus of the University of Wisconsin and I can
>>> confirm that
>>> this is a problem. Over the past few years, the number of
>>> collisions with
>>> other pedestrians that I have experienced has increased
>>> dramatically. Almost
>>> without exception, when I have a collision with someone, they're
>>> talking on
>>> a cell phone or listening to an ipod.  Last summer I was hit by a
>>> girl on a
>>> bicycle. She got knocked down and at first I was very apologetic.
>>> But then
>>> on-lookers told me that she was talking on a cell phone when she
>>> hit me. So
>>> she was riding her bike on a crowded sidewalk and talking on her
>>> cell phone.
>>> In retrospect, I think she was lucky she didn't hurt me.
>>> Sent: Monday, January 25, 2010 8:32 AM
>>> Subject: Forget Gum. Walking and Using Phone Is Risky
>>>> Driven to Distraction
>>>> Forget Gum. Walking and Using Phone Is Risky.
>>>> SAN FRANCISCO - On the day of the collision last month,
>>>> visibility was
>>>> good. The sidewalk was not under repair. As she walked, Tiffany
>>>> Briggs,
>>>> 25, was talking to her grandmother on her cellphone, lost in
>>>> conversation.
>>>> Very lost.
>>>> "I ran into a truck," Ms. Briggs said.
>>>> It was parked in a driveway.
>>>> Distracted driving has gained much attention lately because of the
>>>> inflated crash risk posed by drivers using cellphones to talk and
>>>> text.
>>>> But there is another growing problem caused by lower-stakes
>>>> multitasking -
>>>> distracted walking - which combines a pedestrian, an electronic
>>>> device and
>>>> an unseen crack in the sidewalk, the pole of a stop sign, a toy
>>>> left on
>>>> the living room floor or a parked (or sometimes moving) car.
>>>> The era of the mobile gadget is making mobility that much more
>>>> perilous,
>>>> particularly on crowded streets and in downtown areas where
>>>> multiple
>>>> multitaskers veer and swerve and walk to the beat of their own
>>>> devices.
>>>> Most times, the mishaps for a distracted walker are minor, like the
>>>> lightly dinged head and broken fingernail that Ms. Briggs
>>>> suffered, a
>>>> jammed digit or a sprained ankle, and, the befallen say, a nasty
>>>> case of
>>>> hurt pride. Of course, the injuries can sometimes be serious -
>>>> and they
>>>> are on the rise.
>>>> Slightly more than 1,000 pedestrians visited emergency rooms in
>>>> 2008
>>>> because they got distracted and tripped, fell or ran into
>>>> something while
>>>> using a cellphone to talk or text. That was twice the number from
>>>> 2007,
>>>> which had nearly doubled from 2006, according to a study
>>>> conducted by Ohio
>>>> State University, which says it is the first to estimate such
>>>> accidents.
>>>> "It's the tip of the iceberg," said Jack L. Nasar, a professor of
>>>> city and
>>>> regional planning at Ohio State, noting that the number of
>>>> mishaps is
>>>> probably much higher considering that most of the injuries are
>>>> not severe
>>>> enough to require a hospital visit. What is more, he said,
>>>> texting is
>>>> rising sharply and devices like the iPhone have thousands of new,
>>>> engaging
>>>> applications to preoccupy phone users.
>>>> Mr. Nasar supervised the statistical analysis, which was done by
>>>> Derek
>>>> Troyer, one of his graduate students. He looked at records of
>>>> emergency
>>>> room visits compiled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
>>>> Examples of such visits include a 16-year-old boy who walked into a
>>>> telephone pole while texting and suffered a concussion; a 28-year-
>>>> old man
>>>> who tripped and fractured a finger on the hand gripping his
>>>> cellphone; and
>>>> a 68-year-old man who fell off the porch while talking on a
>>>> cellphone,
>>>> spraining a thumb and an ankle and causing dizziness.
>>>> Young people injured themselves more often. About half the visits
>>>> Mr.
>>>> Troyer studied were by people under 30, and a quarter were 16 to
>>>> 20 years
>>>> old. But more than a quarter of those injured were 41 to 60 years
>>>> old.
>>>> Pedestrians, like drivers, have long been distracted by myriad
>>>> tasks, like
>>>> snacking or reading on the go. But the constant interaction with
>>>> electronic devices has made single-tasking seem boring or even
>>>> unproductive.
>>>> Cognitive psychologists, neurologists and other researchers are
>>>> beginning
>>>> to study the impact of constant multitasking, whether behind a
>>>> desk or the
>>>> wheel or on foot. It might stand to reason that someone looking
>>>> at a phone
>>>> to read a message would misstep, but the researchers are finding
>>>> that just
>>>> talking on a phone takes its own considerable toll on cognition and
>>>> awareness.
>>>> Sometimes, pedestrians using their phones do not notice objects
>>>> or people
>>>> that are right in front of them - even a clown riding a unicycle.
>>>> That was
>>>> the finding of a recent study at Western Washington University in
>>>> Bellingham, Wash., by a psychology professor, Ira Hyman, and his
>>>> students.
>>>> One of the students dressed as a clown and unicycled around a
>>>> central
>>>> square on campus. About half the people walking past by
>>>> themselves said
>>>> they had seen the clown, and the number was slightly higher for
>>>> people
>>>> walking in pairs. But only 25 percent of people talking on a
>>>> cellphone
>>>> said they had, Mr. Hyman said.
>>>> He said the term commonly applied to such preoccupation is
>>>> "inattention
>>>> blindness," meaning a person can be looking at an object but fail
>>>> to
>>>> register it or process what it is.
>>>> Particularly fascinating, Mr. Hyman said, is that people walking
>>>> in pairs
>>>> were more than twice as likely to see the clown as were people
>>>> talking on
>>>> a cellphone, suggesting that the act of simply having a
>>>> conversation is
>>>> not the cause of inattention blindness.
>>>> One possible explanation is that a cellphone conversation taxes
>>>> not just
>>>> auditory resources in the brain but also visual functions, said
>>>> Adam
>>>> Gazzaley, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San
>>>> Francisco.
>>>> That combination, he said, prompts the listener to, for example,
>>>> create
>>>> visual imagery related to the conversation in a way that
>>>> overrides or
>>>> obscures the processing of real images.
>>>> By comparison, walking and chewing gum (that age-old measure of
>>>> pedestrian
>>>> skill at multitasking) is a snap.
>>>> "Walking and chewing are repetitive, well-practiced tasks that
>>>> become
>>>> automatic," Dr. Gazzaley said. "They don't compete for resources
>>>> like
>>>> texting and walking."
>>>> Further, he said, the cellphone gives people a constant
>>>> opportunity to
>>>> pursue goals that feel more important than walking down the street.
>>>> "An animal would never walk into a pole," he said, noting survival
>>>> instincts would trump other priorities.
>>>> For Shalamar Jones, 19, the priority was keeping in touch with her
>>>> boyfriend. Last month while she was Christmas shopping in a mall
>>>> near San
>>>> Francisco, she was texting him when - bam! - she walked into the
>>>> window of
>>>> a New York & Company store, thinking it was a door.
>>>> "I thought it was open," she said, noting that no harm was done.
>>>> "I just
>>>> started laughing at myself."
>>>> The worst part is the humiliation, said Christopher Black, 20, an
>>>> art
>>>> student at San Francisco State University who 18 months ago had
>>>> his own
>>>> pratfall.
>>>> At the time, Mr. Black said, the sidewalks were packed with
>>>> pedestrians.
>>>> So he decided he could move faster if he walked in the street,
>>>> keeping
>>>> close to the parked cars. The trouble is he was also texting -
>>>> with a
>>>> woman he was flirting with.
>>>> He unwittingly started to veer into the road, prompting an
>>>> oncoming car to
>>>> honk. He said he instinctively jumped toward the sidewalk but, in
>>>> the
>>>> process, forgot about the line of parked cars.
>>>> "I splayed against the side of the car, and the phone hit the
>>>> ground," he
>>>> said. He and his phone were uninjured, except for his pride. "It
>>>> was
>>>> pretty significantly embarrassing."
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