Producers of the video “Seeing Eye People,” Improv Everywhere, enlisted sixty New Yorkers to participate in a video “mission” to find a solution to the city’s texting and walking epidemic.
The “seeing eye people” wore orange vests that said, “I can help you walk and text,” and approached random people on the street offering their services as part of a Department of Transportation pilot program.
In addition to being inconsiderate, texting while walking impairs the vision of the walker and can even be life-threatening.
An Ohio State University study found that more than 1,500 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms for cellphone-related incidents in 2008, compared to 559 in 2004.
People mistakenly believe they are expert multitaskers, but psychological studies show that most people can’t focus on more than one thing at a time. A Nasar study conducted at campus intersections found that people talking on cellphones were significantly more likely to walk in front of cars than pedestrians not using cellphones.
Phone-related injuries include falling off walkways or bridges and walking into traffic. Security-camera footage of a woman texting as she walked through a suburban Philadelphia shopping mall, tumbling into a large fountain directly in front of her, went viral last year.