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texting while walking can be dangerous

For those who follow my posts on the hazards of texting while driving (and yes there have been a lot) you will find this story very interesting. It seems that a young woman who works at the Berkshire Mall in Reading was strolling through the mall while texting on her cell. You'll have to watch the video to believe it. Well she tripped and fell into the fountain in the middle of the mall. The story was covered by WFMZ yesterday. It's a bit humorous if not down right funny (since no one was hurt). The video has been posted on  YouTube and viewed by millions according to the victim. Well I guess it goes without saying but bears repeating - how could anyone (after seeing this video) ever consider texting while driving? Attention distraction = diminished reaction. Now imagine driving at speeds up to 50mph and having to react to someone pulling into your lane or someone in front of you suddenly hitting their brake? Tumbling into a pool of water is a small lesson from which we can all learn. Consider the following: from the time you recognize the danger, like the car suddenly stopping, until the time you can bring your car to a halt depends on a number of factors. First, how well are you focused on your driving? Experts tell us that reaction time (the time it takes from appreciation of a danger until the time your brain sends the command to your foot) can take up to ½ of a second. Then there is the time it takes to get your foot from the gas pedal to the brake - another ¾ of a second. The car hasn't even started stopping yet and you have already traveled a large part of the closing distance between you and the car ahead. Finally, there is the actual stopping distance that it takes for the car to come to a stop. At 30mph total stopping distance can be 35 to 40 feet. At 50 mph it can be 75 to 100 feet, and at 60 mph it can be over 125 feet. Consider that someone walking at a speed of around 2 mph cannot avoid walking into a fountain while texting and - well - you get the message. Dennis F Feeley     

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