MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. We’ve heard that there are real risks to overusing our smartphones. By texting and driving and by engaging in distracted driving, we run the risk of getting into a car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting and driving kills 3,477 people each year, and leaves another 391,000 injured. Cell phone use can make us more dangerous than drunk drivers. As more people become addicted to their phones, and as more people purchase smartphones, we may see an era where texting and driving becomes the next kind of drinking and driving. While there are many social stigmas attached to drinking and driving, texting and driving has yet to attain the same kind of negative social status. Many people admit to texting behind the wheel even though we know it is deadly. While there are laws against texting and driving, in many states, a texting and driving citation results in nothing more than a ticket.
Texting and driving may also have other consequences beyond those related to traffic injuries. According to the New York Times, texting may also result in another medical condition known as “text neck.”
When we bend our necks to look at our phones, the action can place stress on the neck and spine. Over time, this pressure can lead to an increased curve of the spine. “Text neck” is becoming a serious medical concern. It can lead to back pain, neck pain, and soreness. Text neck can seriously stress the spine, to the point of real medical conditions. One that is prevalent amongst adolescents, who are known for their “text neck” posture due to being glued to their phone, is kyphosis. This is an abnormal bend in the spine, causing a hunched figure at the top of the back. While there is treatment available for this condition, it’s best to avoid getting it in the first place by correcting posture when holding a phone. Individuals can also suffer from mood changes if this condition leads to pain. Furthermore, research has found that a person’s posture can affect mood. The New York Times reports that the simple act of slouching can lead to increased depression.
Worse, bad posture can impact how others perceive us. People who slouch during job interviews are less likely to get the job.
Unfortunately, individuals may not always be aware of how their smartphone use affects them. They may not be aware of how long they actually spend in front of the screen. Or, they may not be aware of how much that next text or ring takes their attention away from work or the road. The New York Times reports that adults spend an estimated 10 hours a day using electronic media. Children may be impacted because they now have to compete with their parent’s phones for attention.
So, what can you do to avoid falling prey to the worse consequences of smartphone addiction? Turn off your phone while driving. Put people first. If you are at work, at home, at dinner, or hanging with friends, put social connection above using your phone. Finally, if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving a distracted driver, consider contacting the Minneapolis, Minnesota personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino. Our firm is committed to helping distracted driving victims and their families raise awareness. Learn more. Visit us at https://www.martinmontilino.com/ today.