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Is It Dangerous to Look at Your Cell Phone While Walking?

All around the world, people can’t seem to look away from their cell phones, even when they’re walking down the street. With heads down, watching videos, reading e-mails, or texting friends, life goes on around them, sometimes with dangerous consequences. In China, for example, the World Health Organization estimates that about 68,000 pedestrians are killed each year -- some of them while tragically not watching where they were going. In June 2018, a shopping mall in the city of Xi’an introduced a rather tongue-in-cheek solution by creating pedestrian lanes specifically for the "heads-down tribe" -- a nickname that has emerged in China for cell phone users who don't want to look up from their devices while walking.

Addicted to screens:

  • "We are not actually advocating for pedestrians to look at their phones," said a mall spokesperson. "But we can't tell them, ‘You're not allowed to look at your cellphone while walking.’”

  • In a similar move in 2014, a street in the city of Chongqing was divided: Phone use was prohibited on one side of the street, and pedestrians using phones -- “at your own risk” -- were relegated to the other side.

  • The German city of Augsburg embedded traffic lights into the pavement in 2016 in an attempt to prevent distracted pedestrians from wandering into traffic.

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More Info: CNBC

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