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Cell Phone Related Injuries On The Rise

By Syma Chowdhry

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A new study shows pedestrian cell phone related injuries have nearly doubled since 2005. The age group most at risk is 16 to 25 year olds.

Some find it funny, such as YouTube videos showing teens falling in water fountains, but it can be dangerous (SEE RELATED STORY.)

Aaron Mandelbaum, a student, said "it's part of the youth culture, we're always on our phones."

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CBS 3 went to University City and saw many people preoccupied on their phone, some even crossing the street while texting.

Lauren Kelly of University City, said, "It's something that happens quite frequently."

Maureen Rush is the Vice President of Public Safety at the University of Pennsylvania, and she said it is common to see young adults attached to their phones while walking around.

She said, "We're seeing people totally unaware of their surroundings, walking around streets with ear buds something in their face totally in a different zone."

That can cause injuries include tripping, falling off of walkways, even walking in front of moving traffic.

"Our hospital, University of Pennsylvania, has seen many a broken ankle because of people not realizing they're walking off the curb."

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UPenn kicked off their "Share the Road" program this week. It focuses on cell phone use among drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Rush observed, "People in cars texting, speaking on the phone, you see bicyclists one handed driving down the street, you see pedestrians waking out off the curb."

Unsurprisingly, most people who we caught texting and walking did not want to speak on camera, but some confessed and acknowledged the dangers.

Eric Dannenbaum, a student said, "I find myself tripping on the ground from not really looking. I've been in situations where I've nearly bumped into somebody. I do walk and text and sometimes trip up a little."

Rush offers this piece of advice, "People are totally unaware of a perpetrator who may be watching everything their doing waiting for that moment to grab that phone out of their hand. The best way to stay safe on the sidewalk is to put away your phone!"

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