AP NEWS

Walking should not be a hazardous activity

March 5, 2019

Walking is supposed to be among the most healthy activities, but that has become less true in recent years, and there is a specific reason behind it.

In an editorial published Monday, the Chicago Tribune reports that pedestrian deaths throughout the nation have apparently reached a 30-year high, and the problem has become more acute in recent years.

More than 6,200 pedestrians died in vehicle-related accidents in the United States in 2018, an increase of 50 percent from the 4,100 killed in 2009, according to projections from the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Some of the traditional factors such as alcohol use and night driving still continue to play a role in these fatalities, but a fairly new factor is seen as the prime reason behind the jump.

The sales of smartphones spiked at the same time as the increase in pedestrian deaths. One now can be found in the hands of almost everyone these days, including drivers and pedestrians.

But the devices plainly don’t mix with certain activities, and the aforementioned pair sit at the top of the list. Illinois now has laws which forbid talking and texting on the phone while driving.

The same laws might not exist when it comes to walking, but common sense tells you any distraction that pops up during a routine jaunt can have harmful, even fatal, consequences.

Avoid such consequences by making driving and walking a solo activity, and pay close attention when you are doing either. There will be plenty of time for texting and talking when the journey is through.