Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yeah, that's what curbcuts are for....

The college students are back and as I go around town, I see evidence of more ped-texters than ever. You know, the Walking While Texting issue. It was so bad on one street in London that they padded the street lights to protect the texters from injuring themselves, as seen in this video, where texters are shown bouncing off of cushioned poles, never removing their eyes from their gadgets.



I came up behind one of these texters last week. She was standing sideways, but didn't see me, so I said "Excuse me". Sometimes when I say that I then see the small white ipod earbuds and know it's to no avail to speak - I have to turn my wheelchair so they see a flash of color. Unfortunately, this student was texting and had earbuds in.

She was virtually unaware of her surroundings- so I thought well at least she's standing still. Suddenly she began to walk and headed toward the street. I followed behind, moving slowly in my power chair. Her eyes were still on her phone, the earbuds in, and she was oblivious to the fact that she was approaching a busy street. She tripped down a high curb, ran into a bicyclist, bounced off someone's suitcase and tripped up the curb on the opposite side of the street.

I caught up to her. She looked at me sheepishly and said "I guess I should use the curbcuts. Would be safer."

6 comments:

Wheelchair Dancer said...

A future Darwin Awards candidate there. If she doesn't remove herself from the game, some wheelie certainly will.

gigul

WCD

Wheelie Catholic said...

Darwin awards candidate - LMAO!

Travelling Blackbird said...

Ha! Indeed. She's going to get herself into trouble doing that.

I can't imagine cutting myself off from sound and vision while walking in the city. That just seems mad. Besides the potential for walking into things, I would think it would leave one very vulnerable to pickpockets and even muggers.

Wheelie Catholic said...

travelling blackbird: I've found myself wondering about their vulnerability to pickpocketings/muggings when I've rolled past folks who are completely "wired" and unaware of their surroundings. Long as someone didn't yank on their earbud cord.... :)

Terri said...

Curbcuts and padded poles--universal designs that are better for everyone!

Ettina said...

And my mother complains about me reading while walking!
Actually, I'm remarkably safe when reading & walking simultaneously - I navigate using peripheral vision while reading with my central vision. Maybe it's because as an autistic person, I'm sensitive to movement in my peripheral vision (there's a lot of that if you're walking around, even stationary objects are moving relative to you).