Texting While Walking: Natural Selection at Work?

People texting and walking into fountains. Falling down open manholes. Bumping into buses. Why can't we take our eyes off those little screens?

We're seeing this more and more around San Rafael and probably everywhere. In this clip, the Associated Press investigates our apparently growing commitment to hand-held technology — and the consequences.

Have you had a close call with a texting pedestrian in San Rafael? Have you seen one of them hurt themselves while not paying attention? Or are you — gasp — one of them? Leave a comment below.

David Edmondson August 21, 2012 at 05:46 AM
I'm sorry, natural selection at work? Those who die because they were walking around are too stupid to live? Ugh, Brent, that's an awful, awful headline. Most people who die in car crashes are drivers, though more passengers die than pedestrians. Are they too stupid to live because they trusted people? How about the bicyclists that have died in Santa Rosa this year - were they being idiots when they expected drivers to treat them as fellow road users as they should? How about all the children that die in car crashes? The woman that was hit crossing the road in downtown San Rafael just a few days ago?
Kevin Moore August 21, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Excellent video. Caltrain use to have a video of two people casually walking across the track in front a speeding train. The man suddenly stops, the woman was not so lucky. I hope that title does upset some people. We need a cold hard slap in the face to wake up as we continue our disconnection from the real world and nature. If the world was infected with a Zombie producing disease, how long before anyone realized it? Half of the people out there walk like mindless zombies. Every day, I see pedestrians that would fail basic Kindergarten level safe street crossing lessons. They walk along the sidewalk, step onto the street, THEN look for traffic. Even at a crosswalk with a "Walk light", you should look both ways before crossing. Many don't even need cellphones or Texting to be Darwin Candidates. I like Salt Lakes idea of not cellphones or texting while crossing railroad tracks. SMART is going to have a hard time pulling into stations with all of the cellphone zombies walking around.
Kevin Moore August 21, 2012 at 07:17 PM
This cell phone avenger is funny. A motorcyclist going after cell phone users. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iQyz87zF4o
Michael August 22, 2012 at 09:24 PM
wow Dave you really took off on this one. As an intelligent, informed guy you know what was meant by the 'natural selection at work' phrase. The stuff you pointed to is a completely different focus as I know you are aware. I see the light 'natural selection humor' in looking at people who inflict pain upon themselves because of their stupid behavior. And yes walking around, head down while texting or reading your email is really, really stupid if nothing else. When I see one of these people coming at me on a sidewalk, head down texting away I simply yell HEY! as loud as I possibly can in order to scare/jolt them into paying attention (at least until they pass me). It is even worse when you see someone driving a car, head down, texting away. This illegal and just plain bad behavior is being done all the time now. THAT is criminal in my view. I am all for technology that would disable a cell phone while a person in driving if we can find a way to make that work. Unfortunately most people refuse to stop doing this voluntarily so we as a civil society must move to stop them before they hurt us. It (texting or holding a cell phone while driving) is out of control now.


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