Safety Tip of the Week

This week Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, provides safety tips related to distracted walking.

Distracted Walking a Case for Safety?

We are all too familiar with the phrase “distracted driving” and the safety ramifications that come from it. In this time of handheld technology, it is time to consider the safety risks of distracted walking. This happens while crossing intersections or walking down the hallway at school between classes. You can see people focused more on their smartphones in dangerous situations than on their surroundings. There have been near-miss incidents, injuries and even some fatalities from walking distracted.

According to Travelers Insurance, injuries from walking while using a cell phone have more than doubled over the last five years.

When distracted walking meets the workplace, employees and students can suffer. Walking in hallways, down stairwells or across lawns or fields while texting, for example, can cause people to injure themselves or others, which can lead to job time loss or student absences.

Tips for walking safe:

  1. Maintain a volume on your phone which allows you to still hear your surroundings.
  2. If a phone call, message or text comes and you must answer, stop and find a safe place to complete the task and then continue on your way.
  3. Look up, not down, when stepping off curbs.
  4. While walking focus on people, objects and obstacles in your surroundings.
  5. Stay alert in hallways, stairwells and sidewalks.

The solution to distracted walking is a fairly simple one: do not use your cell phone or engage in other distracting activities while walking. Focus solely on the task at hand. You will appreciate getting from point A to point B in one piece and injury free. There is no mail, message or game more important than your safety!