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(WTOP)   Across the nation, "distracted walkers" -- pedestrians too absorbed in their cellphones to see what's going on around them -- are being injured at alarming rates. Sounds like Darwin's going to need to hire some help   (wtop.com) divider line 88
    More: Dumbass, Governors Highway Safety Association, SEPTA, UTA, pedestrians, WTOP, light rail system, April Fool's Day, cell phones  
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3339 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Jul 2012 at 12:28 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-30 01:34:50 PM

Evil Mackerel: I cringe we i see someone flicking a cigarette but out the window when they're driving. Who the hell taught them that "thats ok just throw it on the ground'.


The French.
 
2012-07-30 01:36:44 PM

dropdead: And yet two or three times a week I have to deal with drivers don't understand how yield sign's, crosswalks and red lights work.


If you think that's bad, imagine dealing with people that don't understand how apostrophes work.
 
2012-07-30 01:37:24 PM

dropdead: And yet two or three times a week I have to deal with drivers don't understand how yield sign's, crosswalks and red lights work. I'm sure the thread will be full of Darwin jokes and a sense of entitlement everybody better get out of there way since they are in a car. But hey traffic laws are just a conspiracy to take our money and freedom.


Americans will never yield!...mainly do to a lack of understanding of what the word means.
 
2012-07-30 01:42:21 PM

Unlimited_Infinite: So I'm guilty of almost winning a Darwin Award this way.

I was crossing a street while looking at my phone. The light had just turned red but I failed to notice the SUV that was hellbent on beating it. He was also on his cellphone. I got struck and tossed 15 ft, but I still maintained a death clutch on my cellphone as I was cartwheeling through the air.


I'd like to congratulate you on your honesty. Just about everyone else on this thread has an attitude of "Those people are morons, I would never do something this dumb."

We all do stuff that almost gets us hit. Sometimes we don't realize it, and sometimes we realize it but forget about the incident immediately after.
 
2012-07-30 01:48:18 PM

Krieghund: Unlimited_Infinite: So I'm guilty of almost winning a Darwin Award this way.

I was crossing a street while looking at my phone. The light had just turned red but I failed to notice the SUV that was hellbent on beating it. He was also on his cellphone. I got struck and tossed 15 ft, but I still maintained a death clutch on my cellphone as I was cartwheeling through the air.

I'd like to congratulate you on your honesty. Just about everyone else on this thread has an attitude of "Those people are morons, I would never do something this dumb."

We all do stuff that almost gets us hit. Sometimes we don't realize it, and sometimes we realize it but forget about the incident immediately after.


Back in my high school days, I was rolling around my local mall on the first floor. I heard some of my friends holler down to me from the second floor. I looked up at them, but didn't stop walking. The benches in that place were just below knee height. It hurt like hell when I tumbled right over one. They all got a good laugh out of it.
 
2012-07-30 01:48:45 PM
so an alarming rate is zero?

I don't see a single study in this article, just "oooo look out!"
 
2012-07-30 01:49:28 PM
If Darwin is hiring, I'm applying. I can see the interview process ...

"So, what's your feeling about a small child who trips in the grass and loses his ice cream cone?"
"Hilarious."
"What's your feeling about an outdoor wedding that's been planned for months in a desert climate, only to be washed out by a freak rainstorm?"
"Fantastically appropriate."

/etc.
//can't come up with a punch line right now
///always in a sequence of three
 
2012-07-30 01:57:13 PM
Tell me about it.

I'm walking along, innocently reading my Kindle and then a whole bunch of cellphone users listlessly dithering over their tiny Chicklet(TM) keyboards get in my way. They are the worst.

Mind you cyclists are dangerous at any speed, on the sidewalk or off. You never know when one will be sent flying by a car in a tangle of aluminum, graphite or titanium. They could hit you hard, even if they're in the traffic, where they belong on their speeding, wobbly, zig-zagging machines.

Pedestrians are not much better.

As a rule I try to be a safe reader and:

* avoid reading while crossing the road on the theory that the a-holes in the cars don't stop for pedestrians, even at cross-walks
* avoid stationary obstacles such as poles, mailboxes, cellphone users, and parked cars by looking up frequently
* avoid reading when there are unpredictable mobile obstacles such as cellphone walkers, pedestrians, bicycles, dogs, etc.

In short, it is impossible to read Marcel Proust while walking safely anywhere than on a flowery country lane with the buckthorn in bloom. His sentences are frequently more than a city block long.

You have to stick to short aphoristic texts that don't demand a lot of attention. Terry Pratchett novels are fine. Most of his jokes are one sentence or a short paragraph. You can look up and down constantly while reading a Pratchett novel without losing your place and it's not so bad if you have to read the same bit over again.

I find that it is safer to walk with a book than it is to walk without one. You walk slower and pay more attention. Everybody else passes you slower and most pay more attention. You can actually social engineer people with a book.

If worse comes to worse, you can hit people with a book. Try that with a dinky little cellphone!

I think Chicklet keys on cellphones should be repalced with little pits and a stylus. You would "type" by stabbing the stylus into the tiny pits. The entertainment value of people stabbing themselves with stilleto-sharp styluses would be great. Also, you could make the keyboards even smaller and harder to see. The only problem is that angry and embarassed cellphone users would get all stabby. But the entertainment value might be worth it.
 
2012-07-30 01:58:11 PM
 
2012-07-30 02:00:53 PM
California mirrors.

/single solution
 
2012-07-30 02:00:58 PM

Confabulat: thelordofcheese: Confabulat: I bike everywhere and it is sort of hilarious. You can be 100 feet from someone and you can pretty much assume they won't look up.

Why are you biking down the sidewalk? Asshole.

Because I'm not interested in dying on the road, because I'm not an idiot. Dead man.


I'm not dead yet.
 
2012-07-30 02:03:26 PM

Unlimited_Infinite: I got struck and tossed 15 ft, but I still maintained a death clutch on my cellphone as I was cartwheeling through the air.


The mental image this conjures up amuses me greatly. Thanks for sharing.

literaldeluxe: They're being required because silent cars are a significant hazard for blind people (as well as cyclists and other pedestrians).


fark 'em. Noise pollution isn't the answer. And that goes double for those without disabilities.
 
2012-07-30 02:06:17 PM

thelordofcheese: Confabulat: thelordofcheese: Confabulat: I bike everywhere and it is sort of hilarious. You can be 100 feet from someone and you can pretty much assume they won't look up.

Why are you biking down the sidewalk? Asshole.

Because I'm not interested in dying on the road, because I'm not an idiot. Dead man.

I'm not dead yet.


You're not fooling anyone, you know.
 
2012-07-30 02:10:13 PM

nytmare: BigNumber12: It's hard to have sympathy for people with so little self-preservation instinct. And this trend isn't going to drop off, given the rising rate of people who expect the government to somehow engineer Safety (TM) into everything that they could possibly encounter during the course of a day. Street with traffic? Government should barricade that off, it's dangerous. Subway platform? There should be government minders stationed there, to hold onto you while you text. Yosemite falls? Dangerous, all trails should be enclosed plastic tubes.

You're the guy that released all the tigers from the zoo, aren't you. Because those bars were put there by The Man to keep us from enjoying our feline friends as God intended.



You know, nytmare, I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them farking each other over for a goddamn percentage.
 
2012-07-30 02:13:25 PM

Evil Mackerel: BigNumber12: It's hard to have sympathy for people, all trails should be enclosed plastic tubes.

If only to keep forest cleaner. I cringe we i see someone flicking a cigarette but out the window when they're driving. Who the hell taught them that "thats ok just throw it on the ground'.



My wife is quite weary of hearing that exact rant come out of my mouth every few days.

It's because they're Adults now, damn it, and they don't have to follow stupid childish rules like "decency in public" or "care for shared resources." They're rugged individuals, and nobody's the boss of them.
 
2012-07-30 02:18:22 PM

cirby: "Across the nation, "distracted walkers" -- pedestrians too absorbed in their cellphones to see what's going on around them -- are being injured at alarming hilarious rates."


LOL Well, we seem to be making headway on that particular problem. Now if we could just damage a few of those farking teenagers* who insist on walking 3 and 4 abreast on the street...use the damn sidewalk already.


/*want to guess what color they usually are?
 
2012-07-30 02:23:46 PM

BigNumber12: It's because they're Adults now, damn it, and they don't have to follow stupid childish rules like "decency in public" or "care for shared resources." They're rugged individuals, and nobody's the boss of them.


When screwing over the public at large for any personal gain is the National mantra you're not going to get a lot of sensitive considerate adults playing the game. We are well into the "fark you, I got mine" Monopoly end game here.
 
2012-07-30 02:31:59 PM

BigNumber12: Yosemite falls? Dangerous, all trails should be enclosed plastic tubes.


I know you were being facetious, but I don't care. That. Sounds. AWESOME.
 
2012-07-30 02:32:07 PM
Eff "Blackberry Zombies" and their "I can walk as slow as hell in a busy throughfare and never once think to stand off to the side." Eff 'em.

/yes, I work in the Financial district and see this bullshiate every day.
 
2012-07-30 02:33:19 PM
Whenever I'm walking with my (wise-ass) kid, he waits until I start using my phone and then subtly edges me over toward the next obstacle in our path. He's really good at it- I've smacked right into poles twice because of him.

Also, yesterday I nearly got to be the "car" in a "car-vs-ped" crash when some stupid college student decided that her phone was more important than the red light. Luckily, I pay extra special attention at that intersection. It's the main crossing from the campus into the downtown area. There's always some idiot or asshat who either forgets about oncoming traffic or thinks he/she doesn't have to obey the crossing signs. And when I'M crossing at that intersection, I'm extra super vigilant because there's always some driver who gets distracted by girls in yoga pants and forgets that when pedestrians are in the crosswalk (legally or out of stupidity), they're supposed to be avoided.
 
2012-07-30 02:41:09 PM

DocTravesty: BigNumber12: Yosemite falls? Dangerous, all trails should be enclosed plastic tubes.

I know you were being facetious, but I don't care. That. Sounds. AWESOME.



Only as long as it's well-ventilated.
 
2012-07-30 02:54:37 PM
This isn't really anything new. The frequency might be, but the events are as old as, well, walking. I remember an acquaintance -- state police crime lab chemist -- who had been testifying in some court case, and after it was over walked out to his car with his head down, deep in thought, and slammed right into a pillar for the upper level of the parking garage. He needed stitches. That was in the 1980s. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Julius Caesar habitually walked into columns in the Forum or something.
 
2012-07-30 02:55:48 PM

tillerman35: Whenever I'm walking with my (wise-ass) kid, he waits until I start using my phone and then subtly edges me over toward the next obstacle in our path. He's really good at it- I've smacked right into poles twice because of him.

Also, yesterday I nearly got to be the "car" in a "car-vs-ped" crash when some stupid college student decided that her phone was more important than the red light. Luckily, I pay extra special attention at that intersection. It's the main crossing from the campus into the downtown area. There's always some idiot or asshat who either forgets about oncoming traffic or thinks he/she doesn't have to obey the crossing signs. And when I'M crossing at that intersection, I'm extra super vigilant because there's always some driver who gets distracted by girls in yoga pants and forgets that when pedestrians are in the crosswalk (legally or out of stupidity), they're supposed to be avoided.


s14.postimage.org

I'm sorry...you were saying what?
 
2012-07-30 03:04:31 PM

lemurs: foxyshadis: Fish in a Barrel: This is why electric and hybrid cars are mandated to have noise makers in 2013, which makes me stabby.

I'm assuming that they'll be pretty easy to remove. I'll certainly try, even though it looks like my next purchase won't be a hybrid after all.

A car with some level of artificial noise may be useful for blind pedestrians. Someone with a face planted to a glowy screen is going to be just as oblivious whether the car is audible or not.


It's not just the blind pedestrians. I've almost gotten nailed by Prii a few times in parking lots, and I wouldn't be caught dead with a glowy screen in my hand, for fear of, y'know, being caught dead. But you're walking from your car to the store, keeping track of the apparently oblivious teenager backing out on one side of you, and the wanker with a cell phone stuck to their face trying to poach a parking spot from the one in the pickup truck with the disturbing stickers on the back window, and that guy who doesn't seem to realize that there's anyone else in the parking lot besides him. Then some car you can't hear comes from a direction you can't see. If I'd had just one more distraction -- keeping an eye on a child, for instance, or just carrying something big that was trying to blow away -- I might not have noticed them at all.

People use more senses than just sight to spot potential threats, and taking away one of those cues makes it a whole lot harder.
 
2012-07-30 03:10:03 PM

Hyjamon: They would just tell me "It's okay, pedestrians have the right-of-way here and cars have to stop."

They never seemed to understand that even though you have the right-of-way, physics is still against you. And it is hard to collect on a settlement when you are dead.


The laws of physics always trump the laws of man.

No legislature can pass a law that changes "big hard metal things will kill small squishy things when they collide." People seem to try to demonstrate that on a daily basis. I do wish they'd try somewhat less hard to demonstrate it on my car, though.
 
2012-07-30 03:16:23 PM
Though the details escape me today, I'm pretty sure I was reading Fark when I got struck :)
 
2012-07-30 04:13:13 PM

DocTravesty: BigNumber12: Yosemite falls? Dangerous, all trails should be enclosed plastic tubes.

I know you were being facetious, but I don't care. That. Sounds. AWESOME.


Hell yes. And when the tubes need cleaning, you just flush water down and turn them into a waterslide. Wheeee!
 
2012-07-30 06:30:54 PM
i.dailymail.co.uk

Hang up and walk.
 
2012-07-30 08:06:27 PM

jackandwater: cirby: "Across the nation, "distracted walkers" -- pedestrians too absorbed in their cellphones to see what's going on around them -- are being injured at alarming hilarious rates."

LOL Well, we seem to be making headway on that particular problem. Now if we could just damage a few of those farking teenagers* who insist on walking 3 and 4 abreast on the street...use the damn sidewalk already.


/*want to guess what color they usually are?


getting angry at teenagers is like getting angry at a cat for chasing a mouse. teenagers are dumb as gum and their minds are elsewhere. have patience, the ones that replace them will be worse.
 
2012-07-30 08:31:37 PM

KrispyKritter: jackandwater: cirby: "Across the nation, "distracted walkers" -- pedestrians too absorbed in their cellphones to see what's going on around them -- are being injured at alarming hilarious rates."

LOL Well, we seem to be making headway on that particular problem. Now if we could just damage a few of those farking teenagers* who insist on walking 3 and 4 abreast on the street...use the damn sidewalk already.


/*want to guess what color they usually are?

getting angry at teenagers is like getting angry at a cat for chasing a mouse. teenagers are dumb as gum and their minds are elsewhere. have patience, the ones that replace them will be worse.



Yes, that is true. Maybe I will be dead before tho, you never know
 
2012-07-30 08:38:38 PM

MuonNeutrino: what really gets me are the people using their phones while *biking*


Hell, half the time they're TEXTING - no hands on the handlebars, both hands on the phone, eyes on the phone. I'm kinda amazed that they are able to do that at all, but... yeah, not a smart plan!

Worldwalker: It's not just the blind pedestrians. I've almost gotten nailed by Prii a few times in parking lots, and I wouldn't be caught dead with a glowy screen in my hand, for fear of, y'know, being caught dead. But you're walking from your car to the store, keeping track of the apparently oblivious teenager backing out on one side of you, and the wanker with a cell phone stuck to their face trying to poach a parking spot from the one in the pickup truck with the disturbing stickers on the back window, and that guy who doesn't seem to realize that there's anyone else in the parking lot besides him. Then some car you can't hear comes from a direction you can't see. If I'd had just one more distraction -- keeping an eye on a child, for instance, or just carrying something big that was trying to blow away -- I might not have noticed them at all.

People use more senses than just sight to spot potential threats, and taking away one of those cues makes it a whole lot harder.


Agreed. The first time I saw a silent Prius come out of nowhere it surprised me JUST how quiet the things are. The doppler effect of the noise also gives more input on direction. If they want to put a noisemaker on the Prius, they should just make it sound like a normal well-running gas-engine car, it will seem "natural" to people. No need for any other special noise.

Krieghund: We all do stuff that almost gets us hit. Sometimes we don't realize it, and sometimes we realize it but forget about the incident immediately after.


The book "Traffic" has some interesting talk about this. They put cameras in commercial vehicles to gather a bunch of data on normal driving behavior and traffic flow (so the drivers were all warned about the cameras and accepted them as part of their job conditions). After a bit, the drivers forget about the cameras and just drive normally. Interesting part was that while there weren't tons of accidents or anything, there were a lot of near misses - incidents that without the camera no one would have noticed.

As for clueless pedestrians, in my town a college girl was talking on the phone and crossing the street and was killed by a bus - run completely over. I can't imagine being on the other end of that call.
 
2012-07-30 09:05:21 PM
It's always fun to watch people trip over curbs or walk into poles with their eyes glued to their phones.

A few weeks ago I was standing outside my shop having a smoke break when a lady text-walked into me and said "excuse you!" Guess I should watch where I'm standing.
 
2012-07-30 11:05:57 PM
I just recently realized that you can stare at the boobs of a texting woman without her noticing.
 
2012-07-30 11:54:13 PM

jylcat: Do we need "distracted walking" laws? No, if you're too busy looking at your fondleslab, and you walk into traffic, I think that's a classic Darwinian strengthening of the species.


Except for youve just touched on the reason that distracted driving laws exist. If you walk into traffic and get hit, then someone rear ends the person that hit you, some INNOCENT person could die. (this is how it will get passed)

and frankly, no one wants to be walking in public with any of you when you arent watching where you are going. If you think you do this safely and courteously, you are mistaken.

/ that said, no laws, please. Just... STOPPIT!
 
2012-07-31 05:40:01 AM
FTA: "It sounds very ridiculous," said Tia Little, a pedestrian in downtown Washington. "I mean, it's our phone. We should be able to use it and walk and talk if we choose to, walk and text or whatever."

That's cool. I get to punch you in the face when you run into me, though.
 
2012-07-31 10:53:39 AM
I routinely walk across midtown Manhattan watching Netflix on my phone.

/still look both ways before crossing the road.
//and haven't bumped into anyone or anything
 
2012-07-31 03:01:04 PM

Fish in a Barrel: thelordofcheese: Confabulat: thelordofcheese: Confabulat: I bike everywhere and it is sort of hilarious. You can be 100 feet from someone and you can pretty much assume they won't look up.

Why are you biking down the sidewalk? Asshole.

Because I'm not interested in dying on the road, because I'm not an idiot. Dead man.

I'm not dead yet.

You're not fooling anyone, you know.


I feel happy! I feel happy!
 
2012-07-31 03:01:49 PM

ObscureNameHere: Eff "Blackberry Zombies" and their "I can walk as slow as hell in a busy throughfare and never once think to stand off to the side." Eff 'em.

/yes, I work in the Financial district and see this bullshiate every day.


Push them down, son.
 
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