As reported by an ABC news affiliate in South Bend, Indiana, a woman named Bonnie Miller fell into a river connected to Lake Michigan while she was attempting to walk along a pier and send a text message at the same time. Miller was strolling along the pier with her family and realized that she had to correct an appointment time via a text message. As she was writing the text message, Miller didn’t pay attention to how close she was to the edge of the pier and ending up tripping into approximately six feet of cold water.
Miller’s husband and a 19-year old bystander jumped into the water to help her reach a ladder that led back to the top of the pier. A police officer also used a flotation device attached to a rope to help guide the group to the ladder.
The Michigan woman, who was not hurt, later went on the local news to warn people of the dangers of texting while walking.
The number of falling incidents when texting while talking that have been captured on video and published on the Internet has increased over the last few years. During February 2012, a live CBC broadcast caught a woman’s fall down a section of steps while she was texting while walking and the video is nearing four million views on YouTube. During January 2011, a woman named Cathy Cruz Marrero caught national attention after a security guard at a shopping mall released footage of Marrero tripping and falling into the mall’s fountain after texting while walking. Marrero hired an attorney shortly after the incident specifically to go after the mall’s management for allowing the footage to be leaked onto the Internet.
A university study shows that people who text while walking tend to veer from a straight line path by 60%.
Stay safe, everyone!