DOT: Texting while walking not as dangerous as previously thought

NEW YORK (WABC) -- You may bump into people, but there is little concrete evidence that texting while walking contributes significantly to pedestrian deaths and injuries, city officials said.

The Department of Transportation says texting, checking email and Googling factored into two pedestrian deaths between 2014 and 2017.

To put that in perspective, 534 pedestrians were killed on city streets during the four-year span.

The DOT says a better way to improve pedestrian safety is to crack down on dangerous drivers and implement street improvement projects that reduce the severity of crashes.

The department also cited the need to educate school age children who may have received their first phones, particulary ages 9 through 11, about the hazards of texting while walking.

New York state passed a law in 2017 directing the DOT to look into the dangers of 'distracted walking'.

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