It’s a common sight on campus: people walking with their heads down while looking at their phones.
They might be answering an email, texting a friend or scrolling through Instagram. Whatever the case, their eyes are busy scanning a screen and not looking ahead of them in the direction their body is moving. This distracted behaviour sometimes ends in a collision with another person, structure or vehicle, and may result in injury.
“Recently, a person needed to get stitches in her head from walking into a metal pole while looking at her phone,” said Dan Pozzobon, Occupational Health and Safety Specialist. “We also had a close call with a person who walked out in front of a car at a crosswalk without looking to see if it was safe to cross.”
Although most distracted walking incidents aren’t this serious, they’re prevalent. They often result in a minor collision that isn’t reported, or a slip, trip or fall, which accounts for 25 per cent of reported incidents on campus, making it the No. 1 reason why people at Brock get hurt.
Brian Dzurban, Pozzobon’s Occupational Health and Safety Specialist colleague, acknowledges that it will take time for people to change their habits but hopes the next time they’re faced with the opportunity to text and walk, they’ll think twice.
“It seems easy and quick to use your phone on the move, but an incident can happen in a second. If you must text or look at your phone for any reason, stop walking, get out of the way of other people and then check your phone.”