Stop... Look around!

TALKING AWAY

Stop... Look around!

Careless:  The use of mobile phones by pedestrians can lead to accidents.

Easy accessibility to technology has made communication extremely fast for everyone. The flawless networks and low call rates have also made people addicted to cellphones.
Many people can’t even walk on the roads without their mobiles stuck to their ears. Take a casual stroll on the roads of the City and you will see this. But how safe is this habit, especially with the unruly traffic and huge crowd on the roads? Metrolife speaks to the people of Bangalore to get their take on this issue and finds out the dangers of talking on the phone for pedestrians.

Interaction on electronic devices has become very common especially when you are on the move. “Many feel talking on the phone outside is a good way of utilising time. Especially with the fast paced life of today, when you can’t wait till you are back in office or home,” says Prashanth, a professional.

While ‘walk and talk’ is the anthem of the nation, it can often lead to undesirable situations. “While talking on the phone, people are not aware of what is happening around them many a time since they are concentrating on the conversation. They are more involved in the call than looking around,” says Deepanjali, a student.

Research indicates that talking on the cellphone causes a state called ‘inattentional blindness’, where a person can look around but not recognise the surroundings when engrossed in a conversation. “People on phone often don’t listen to horns and don’t cross the road properly, which creates problems for vehicle drivers,” says Javed Pasha, an autorickshaw driver in the City. Also pedestrians are likely to get distracted, trip or run into something while using a cellphone to talk or text. “My friend once walked into a glass wall thinking it was a door. She was not injured but it did lead to small bump and a little embarrassment,” says Ramya, a student.

Other issues like theft and accidental falls are also heard of. “My phone was snatched away by a person on a bike while I was talking on the road,” says Aditi, a marketing professional. “There are many dangers if you are constantly on the phone. You might not notice a vehicle. There is also the problem of falling into a manhole. But that is partially the fault of the authorities,” says Shaila Prabu, a professional.

On the whole, everyone feels that it is the pedestrians who need to be more cautious. “The safety quotient of using a mobile on the road depends from person to person. If you are aware of your surroundings, it is alright otherwise accidents are bound to happen,” says Shweta Aggarwal, a professional.

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