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April 1, 2013 / mike54martin

Watch Out for the Petextrians

Businesswomen Balancing Over Money                                 

Watch Out for the Petextrians

By Mike Martin

Some days I think it might be safer to walk on the street with the traffic than try and navigate my way along the sidewalk. Once all I had to put up with was annoying people listening to music that was so loud it bled through their headphones or some irritating phone conversation that really should have been held in private. Now I have to watch out for predatory texters who are oblivious to all except their tiny keypads.

Not Looking

They don’t look up. They don’t look around. They just bump into you, telephone poles, fire hydrants and even cars when they walk/run into the intersection. I even saw one girl, headphones on, singing loudly, stroll right into the side of a city bus. She didn’t even seem to notice that it was a bus. She still didn’t look up but mumbled ‘sorry’ and went around the bus and on her merry way. Amazing, but not that unusual.


Now we hear, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal about a survey of over eleven hundred people in Seattle, Washington, that people who walk and text (I’m calling them petextrians) are four times more likely to fail to look both ways before crossing the street, fail to follow traffic signals or cross in the middle of an intersection. We now have laws that ban texting while driving. Maybe it’s time to do the same while walking.


There are no statistics yet on injuries an accidents caused by petextrians but walk down any busy street at lunch time if you want to see the potential for mishap. So far the damage has been mostly limited to bruised heads and bruised egos but it surely cannot be too long before the carnage will be upon us. So on behalf of PATU (Pedestrians Against Text Abuse) please don’t text and walk this noon.

Mike Martin is a freelance writer and workplace wellness consultant. He is also an author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People.

He is also the author of the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries. The next book in the series, The Body on the T, will be released by Baico Publishing on May 1, 2013

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