Woman Looking At Phone Trips Over Door On Sidewalk, Falls Into Utility Room

Image courtesy of WPIX

The hazards of distracted driving are well known, but inability to put down one’s mobile phone poses a danger to other forms of transportation, too. Just ask the 67-year-old woman in New Jersey who was walking while looking at her phone, and tumbled into a building’s basement when she didn’t see access doors that were open on the sidewalk.

Surveillance video shows the 67-year-old woman walking down a Plainfield, NJ, street while tapping on her phone screen. She doesn’t see the open access doors in front of her, and tumbles over the doors and down into a utility room.

In the video, two shocked bystanders aren’t quite sure what to do, since one doesn’t see pedestrians trip over a door and plunge below the sidewalk very often.

Update: CBS New York interviewed the woman’s son, who said that his mother is legally blind and was checking the time on her phone, not texting or playing a game. He says that there should have been cones or some other signal that there was an open access door on the sidewalk.

WPIX reports that the woman was pulled out of the utility room by emergency services and taken to the hospital, where she is in serious condition. Authorities told WPIX that the sidewalk doors were open for repairs to the gas line in that building.

We hear about distracted driving most often, but walking or biking while engrossed in a mobile phone is dangerous, too. Increased smartphone use by pedestrians is one hypothesis that experts have about why more pedestrians are being hit by cars and killed.