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March 7, 2014
Q. What's possibly the “hippest” new reason for a trip to the emergency room?
A. Distracted walking, as there are more and more “Pedestrian Injuries Due to Mobile Phone Use in Public Places,” according to the authors of a journal report, says Steve Mirsky in Scientific American magazine. Using data from 100 U.S. hospitals to approximate this injury rate, it was estimated that in 2004 some 560 people had whacked themselves hard enough on a telephone pole to need emergency room treatment; by 2010, the number had likely topped 1,500 (from “Accident Analysis & Prevention”). During the same time period, other sorts of injuries to pedestrians actually decreased.
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