There’s a serious problem in our society, and Bonnie Miller wants you to know about it.
“I couldn’t let pride stand in my way of warning other people,” says Miller. “It can be dangerous.”
The problem? Texting while walking. Miller learned firsthand about the dangers of texting while walking when she walked off of a pier and fell into a very chilly Lake Michigan, as reported by an ABC News affiliate in South Bend, Indiana. Miller fell into about six feet of water. Fortunately, her husband and a 19-year-old bystander jumped in and were able to rescue her, helping her to reach a ladder so she could climb back to the top of the pier.
No one reported whether or not the cell phone survived the fall.
Miller was strolling down the pier with her family when she realized that she had to change an appointment time. She took out her phone and began to type in her text message, unaware of how close she was to the edge of the pier. Her experience is consistent with the findings from a study completed by Stony Brook University. The researchers found that people texting while walking tended to deviate from a straight path 60 percent of the time.
Other people around the country have fallen victim to accidents — and public humiliation — after falling while texting and walking. Cathy Cruz Marrero was walking through a mall while writing a text message when she tripped and fell into the mall’s fountain. A security guard released footage of the fall on the Internet. Marrero is currently suing mall management for leaking the video.
Another online video that has garnered approximately 4 million views on YouTube depicts a woman who fell down some stairs while texting and walking. Her stumble was caught by a live television broadcast. As the reporter continued talking to the camera, oblivious of the fall, several bystanders ran up to assist the woman who had fallen.
Several apps, including Android (News - Alert) Market app Transparent Screen, harnesses cell phone cameras to show people what’s ahead of them while they are walking and texting. However, users have reported delays in the transmission, which isn’t helpful to the person who is multi-tasking.
At least one person at the scene of Miller’s fall, however, had a positive outcome. Teenager Rebecca Van Zant, the bystander who jumped into the water to save Miller, has decided to join the Coast Guard. “As soon as the Coast Guard got there and I saw the badge on one of the guys I was like, ‘This is what I want to do,’” Van Zant told the local news affiliate. “I would do it every day.’
Edited by Rich Steeves