Advances in technology have certainly made our lives easier. You can use your phone to schedule an appointment, email work correspondence, look up the best place to get your car serviced, and even talk to your friends. The great benefits are one of the reasons that people are overusing their cell phones. It’s also one of the reasons that cell phone injuries are on the rise.
You might not be aware of all the ways that using a cell phone can impact you. While they are great tools, it’s important that you use them responsibly. Cell phone neck injury is becoming more and more common. You can sustain physical injury from using a cell phone too much and you are at a much higher risk for accidents. Texting and driving is one danger that’s mentioned often today but texting while walking is no safer.
In this article, we’ll talk about the dangers associated with use and over use of cell phones. We’ll also offer some tips to help you avoid permanent damage and to use your mobile devices more responsibly.
More people are aware that distracted driving is as dangerous as impaired driving, which is good. A lot of drivers now are more careful not to text while they’re behind the wheel. What you might not realize is that walking and texting is just as dangerous.
One American study showed that 30% of the accidents associated with cell phones are caused because the cell phone user is looking at their phone while walking on a public street. That’s how engrossed they are in their phones. They might walk straight into traffic without looking or trip over something they would normally see. In some case, people have walked directly into poles and other objects, causing themselves physical harm.
While the picture this paints sounds almost comical, the injuries are very real and serious. They’re also becoming far too common. When the injury is to the head or neck, it can be exceptionally debilitating and sometimes even fatal. Injuries can be as minor as scrapes and bruises, but they can also cause lifelong discomfort.
The problem is that people will often become so engrossed in their phone that they don’t notice their environment. This might include using apps, social media, and texting. A few years ago, an app called Pokemon Go became exceptionally popular. Players would turn on the app to capture Pokemon wherever they were in the real world because the app had these creatures populated using a real life map. Players competed in teams against other people in their area. But they were also looking at their phone for fictitious characters, rather than the actual environment they were in.
All of this can be fine with caution. It’s up to the individual to remember to pay attention to their surroundings first, and their phones secondary.
According to one survey, distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents. Distracted driving includes texting while driving, using the apps on your phone, and other activities that take your attention off the road. While these activities are not all cell phone related, we have noticed a serious uptick in distracted driving in the last several years that corresponds with the rise in cell phone use.
Distracted driving has become more and more common because so many people use their phones in some capacity behind the wheel. Some areas in the United States have passed laws, making cell phone use behind the wheel illegal, in an effort to keep drivers safer.
Distracted driving can include fixing your makeup in the car, reading, looking at your cell phone, even paying attention to other passengers, such as children. What people need to realize is that even a few seconds of having your attention diverted can cause a major accident. You should also consider the fact that other drivers are statistically likely to be distracted behind the wheel. This means it’s even more important to maintain attention behind the wheel because you need to drive defensively and make sure your reaction time is as quick as possible, in the event another driver makes a mistake due to their distraction.
Cell phone injuries aren’t only injuries caused by your lack of attention to the road or your environment. Text neck syndrome is also on the rise. Text neck syndrome is caused from the overuse of smartphones and handheld devices. The symptoms can range from minor to fairly severe for the person suffering. This might include neck pain, shoulder pain, pain in the upper back, pain in the upper extremities, and headaches.
Text neck syndrome is basically an injury caused to your spine caused by your posture while using a cell phone. Many people stare down at their cell phone while they text or look at their screen. This position causes your neck to take the weight from your head in an unnatural position. Over time, this causes strain that can lead to permanent damage.
Text neck syndrome can be compounded because most people also regularly use computers at work and at home. If you’re not using the best practices for posture when working, this can add to the strain on your neck and eyes, which can exacerbate the symptoms associated with text neck syndrome.
Text neck, if caught early, does not have to be life altering. It is important that you adjust your posture to prevent some of the more serious issues. If left untreated, text neck can cause inflammation, nerve damage, arthritis, and a permanent curvature of the spine.
Preventive Measures to avoid Head and Neck injuries caused due to cell phone usage while walking or driving
Luckily, most head and neck injuries due to cell phone use can be avoided or at least diminished. Many people simply didn’t realize that they were causing themselves strain and damage. Once you’re aware that this can become an issue, there are steps that you can take to prevent injury and improve your posture to avoid permanent damage.
Text neck syndrome is caused by poor posture while using a cell phone. The best way to avoid this is by holding your cell phone higher, at eye level when you’re using it, instead of holding it in your lap and looking down, which puts pressure on your spine. This is a simple shift, but it makes a great deal of difference over time.
Put the cell phone down. Some issues are caused by constantly using your cell phone. Most people will scroll through social media or surf the web often. They pick up their cell phones repeatedly during the day, even when there are no texts or notifications. If you make a practice of only using your cell phone for set periods of time and try to diminish the amount of time you spend on your cell phone, it can help prevent injuries. Many of the sprains and long term damage from cell phones is simply due to repetitive use.
Don’t use your cell phone while you’re walking in public. If you need to check a text or look for an address, stop to do that. It’s really that simple. Stop where you are or find someone to sit for a minute, check what you need to see and reply if necessary, and then put your phone away before you continue on your walk. This is a simple but powerful solution. Especially considering the high rate of serious accidents caused by pedestrians looking at a cell phone as they step into the road.
Never touch your cell phone while you’re driving. This can be difficult if you use your cell phone for directions but you can either connect your map apps to your car’s information center or you can use a device to attach the cell phone to your dash to use the driving directions. Make it a practice never to text or touch your cell phone in the car while you’re driving. Some cars are equipped with hands free options so that you can still maintain contact and use your apps through voice command on the road. You can always pull over to use your phone and then continue on your way when you’re done.
Schedule a visit with your doctor or a chiropractor to discuss exercises. There are exercises and stretching techniques you can use to help your posture and overall orthopedic and muscular health. If you’re noticing a lot of neck and shoulder pain caused by cell phone use, it’s a good idea to talk to a physician who’s qualified to give you exercise instructions to help mitigate damage.
What are the disadvantages of using mobile phones for long hours?
Repeatedly using your cell phone for long hours can cause neck and spine injury which can lead to serious problems, like arthritis and a curvature of the spine. It can also strain and damage your vision.
How long will it take to resolve my personal injury case?
If you have a personal injury case due to a cell phone related injury, the time it takes to resolve the case will depend on several issues, including your location and the complexity of the case. Generally, personal injury cases might take anywhere from several months to several years before reaching resolution.
Is it really necessary for me to talk to an attorney if my head and neck injuries are associated with cell phone use?
Yes. An experienced attorney is your best bet to help you with the complexities of this type of case.
We are here 24/7 to address your case. You can speak with a lawyer to request a consultation.1-800-567-HURT
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