Reading This While Walking? Look Up!


The Departments of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) and Public Safety have teamed up to ask members of the University community to look up and walk smart.

Through their Look Up and Walk Smart campaign, EHS and public safety hope to call attention to the dangers of using a smart phone while walking.

“People are texting, tweeting, banking, streaming, shopping, emailing, gaming and, basically, not paying attention to their surroundings,” explained EHS Director Paula Sweitzer. “It has become second nature for some to multitask while walking from one building to the next. Across the country, people are running into objects, falling and being struck by cars.”

A 2013 study conducted by The Ohio State University found that more than 1,500 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms in 2010 for injuries related to using a cell phone while walking. The number continues to trend upward at a rapid pace.

“These injuries can be easily prevented,” Sweitzer said. “Pedestrians have higher mortality rates and more serious injuries because they don’t have the protection of being in a vehicle.”

The National Safety Council offers these tips:

  • Don’t walk, talk and text
  • If you have to talk or text, move to the side and out of the way of others
  • Never cross or walk in the street while using an electronic device
  • Don’t walk while wearing/using headphones
  • Keep track of your surroundings.

For more information about the Look Up and Walk Smart campaign, contact Paula Sweitzer at 412.396.4763 or Public Safety Captain Lee Speer at 412.396.4935.