Doctors: Text messaging and walking poses danger
New Jersey doctors are urging people to refrain from text messaging while walking to avoid suffering an unintended consequence: getting hurt.
Dr. George Safran, the director of emergency medicine at Hoboken University Medical Center, says he speaks from experience. "I've caught myself texting as I've walked down stairs - missed the stair and twisted my ankle," he says.
Safran says the emergency room at the Hoboken hospital is averaging about two to three text message-related traumas a week.
"Lacerations as a result of falling down while texting," he says about some of the injuries. "Broken wrists, people trying to break their fall."
The incidents are happening so often that the American College of Emergency Physicians has put out a warning encouraging people who text message to use more caution. Their advice is plain: If you have to text, stop walking. Move to the side, send your message and then keep going.
Tracy Knee says she compulsively sends text messages. She says she has not yet suffered an injury while text messaging, but does still plan to take Safran's advice.
"I know it's wrong, so I'll try harder now," Knee says.