Since cellphones were invented, most of us have become increasingly reliant on them. As the phones have gotten even smarter, this reliance has grown. But along with all of their usefulness have come some dangers. We’re not even talking about people crashing their vehicles because they were driving while distracted.
After one of his students broke her nose when she dropped her phone on herself, a researcher at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School started looking into how often other kinds of cellphone-related injuries occur.
The study, published in JAMA Network, found that between January 1998 and December 2017, more than 2,500 people were treated at hospitals nationwide for phone-related injuries. The most common injury was cuts, followed by bruises and scrapes. Most of the injuries occurred among those ages 13 to 29 years and happened while the person was texting while walking.
Interestingly, the analysis found these injuries began to climb in 2007. That’s when the first smartphone, the iPhone, arrived. Cellphones were becoming popular before then, but their functions were limited. Once the technological revolution began ramping up, so, too, did the injuries.
While many studies have looked at motor vehicle crashes related to drivers being distracted by their phones, less is known about how many people have been injured while walking and using their phones.
If you have spent any time at all outdoors, you no doubt have noticed how many people are going about their day completed fixated on the tiny screens in their hands. Not only does this lead to greater neck and eye strain, it can also be the path to a more serious injury if users are oblivious to their surroundings.