Distracted Walking: How 'Petextrians' Are Endangering Our Streets

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We’ve all been warned about the dangers of distracted driving. But what about distracted walking? A government report released today highlights an unsettling trend: After decades of decline, pedestrian fatalities are once again on the rise. And "petextrians" people who text while walking may be partly to blame, according to the report.

Between the mid-1970s and early 2000s, pedestrian deaths steadily declined, eventually dipping to around 11 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities, according to a Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report. But since 2009, pedestrian fatalities have actually increased by 15 percent -- climbing to 4,735 in 2013.

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