The state cites a study from Safe Kids: pedestrian injuries among 16 to 19-year-olds have increased 25 percent in the past five years. (AP)

Warning: Texting while walking is truly dangerous

Walking is getting dangerous, especially for people looking at their phones. It's getting so bad, that the state Department of Health has issued an official warning asking kids to tune out their devices.

The state cites a study from Safe Kids that pedestrian injuries among 16 to 19-year-olds have increased 25 percent in the past five years across the country. The study went on to say that of those teens who were distracted, about 40 percent were texting, about 40 percent were wearing headphones, and 20 percent were talking on phones.

KIRO Radio's Dori Monson ran into this problem at Seattle's U-Village a couple of days ago.

"I'm driving between where Barnes & Noble used to be and Restoration Hardware, and there are two women and they're walking across the crosswalk in front of me. They stop and they're texting right in front of me. One is texting and the other is looking over her shoulder. Right in front of me!"

Washington had 43 teen pedestrian deaths from 2006 to 2010.

"Those texts and calls can wait, and kids can listen to music at other times," said State Health Officer Dr. Maxine Hayes, a pediatrician. "It's more important to walk safely. And if you're driving, of course, keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel."

The D.O.H. says parents should set a good example, behind the wheel and while walking, and talk to their teens about the dangers of distracted walking.

Stephanie Klein, MyNorthwest.com Editor
Stephanie joined the MyNorthwest.com team in February 2008. She has built the site into a two-time National Edward R. Murrow Award winner (Best Radio Website 2010, 2012).
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