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Despite Warnings, Cell Phones Still Killing Us

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A few weeks ago, the medical journal Injury Prevention released a study saying that headphone related injuries had tripled over a six-year period between 2004 and 2011. For a short while, the report left some people convinced that texting was only the second most dangerous iPhone (AAPL) feature.

Briefly, over those 6 years, 116 people died while wearing headphones. The number in 2011 was three times higher than the number in 2004-2005. Most of these accidents occurred in urban areas and a shocking 55% involved trains (those things that are demarcated by tracks, have a loud horn and can be seen/heard coming from a long way off).

Researchers were quick to point out that there isn’t a huge amount of data on the subject. However, the idea that people who are deafened by headphones might miss warnings like “There’s a train coming” does make some sense.

Still, walking around with music on is more fun.

Besides, a new story out of China puts texting back on top among dangerous things to while moving. Recently, a 45-year-old Chongqing woman died after, distracted by texting, she walked off a bridge.

Leaving aside the inherent difficulty to actually walking off a bridge under normal circumstances, the woman was accompanied by two friends. The bridge had no guardrails, which does slightly mitigate the victim’s unfortunate fall. Still, it seems like one of the three could have been on the lookout for ledges. Foul play is not suspected.

It’s been generally accepted for a while that texting and talking on the phone while driving are dangerous. Both are ticketable offenses and more and more states are moving to make texting behind the wheel a primary offense.

Of course, no one is suggesting similar rules for pedestrians.

That said, Androids (GOOG), Blackberries (RIMM) and iPhones all allow users to listen to music while they text, check email, or do whatever else online. With all those distractions, it can be difficult to look up while walking. It seems that, the smarter phones get, the more ways they come up with to kill us.

Anyways, even without the issues with moving around, cell phones still present pitfalls like this.
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