When it comes to mobile phone safety, most people think about the dangers of texting while driving. But what about texting while walking? Unfortunately, a fair number of people in the last several years have been caught on camera endangering their safety while texting. People have fallen into fountains and lakes and have even had close encounters with roving animals. The rash of accidents led police in Fort Lee, N.J., to crack down on pedestrians who wander across streets while texting.
FierceWireless decided to compile what we believe to be the five worst texting and walking mishaps in recent memory. Here's our list:
In April La Crescenta, Calif., native Vaz Terdandenyan was walking near his home when he ran right into a 400-pound brown bear that was on the loose in the area. "I got up this morning from helicopter noise and I was trying to see what was going on," Terdandenyan told KTLA-TV after the incident. "I was texting my boss that I would be late for work because something is going on, and I'm coming down the stairs and I see the bear coming up the stairs toward me."
In January 2011, Cathy Cruz Marrero received a text while walking in the Berkshire Mall in Wyomissing, Pa., and fell into a fountain. She later complained about the hurt caused by the online backlash her fall and subsequent rise to YouTube stardom had generated. She also threatened to sue the mall.
In March 2012 Bonnie Miller was walking on a pier in St. Joseph, Mich., and didn't look where was going. The next thing she knew, she had fallen backward into Lake Michigan and needed to be rescued. The St. Joseph Fire Department, Michigan State Police and U.S. Coast Guard helped with the rescue effort. "I can't let pride get in my way of warning other people to not drive and text or walk and text. It can be dangerous," Bonnie Miller told ABC 57, a local television station in South Bend, Ind.
In July 2009 Staten Island, N.Y., teenager Alexa Longueira was reading a text message on a friend's phone when suddenly the ground was not there anymore, and she fell six feet into an open manhole. The family wound up suing.
One young woman even fell while texting during a live newscast. Watch the background of the video, where a woman is texting while walking and appears to miss the steps in front of her.