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The message is clear: don’t text and walk on campus

Laura Safe, a radio newscaster, was texting her boyfriend when she fell into a canal in Birmingham, England outside a local shopping center. Despite the freezing water, Safe was rescued without injury.

Although this accident had a happy ending, many accidents resulting from walking and texting do not. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 1,152 Americans visited the emergency room in 2011 after sustaining injuries while walking and using a hand-held electronic device.

With so many injuries caused by simultaneously texting and walking, it is a wonder that people continue to perform such a dangerous action.

We realize that it may seem obvious not to text and walk, but sometimes it’s hard to resist the allure of a buzzing cell phone in one’s pocket.

We see people rapidly texting while crossing the corner of Forbes and Morewood. We see them checking Facebook or changing their music while shuffling along the Cut. We even see them bumping into others on the way to class while playing Temple Run or Angry Birds.

Most of us at The Tartan are guilty of distracted walking on campus. Therefore, we’ve created a set of rules that we try to follow ourselves. We’d like to share them with you:

Don’t text while walking — unless it’s an emergency. Even then, you might want to call whomever it is you’re texting. No matter the case, pay attention to your surroundings.

Facebook posts and Fruit Ninja can wait until you reach your destination. Sure, you might have to wait a few minutes to break your high score, but at least you won’t be an accident waiting to happen.

You might even see people you haven’t seen for a while as they walk by. Maybe you’ll discover something new on campus, like the latest message on the fence, or the university’s new robotic squirrel.

You could even realize that 10 minutes away from technology while walking to class is liberating.

If none of those reasons to put your phone down are appealing, at least other people around you — if they aren’t already on their own phones — will appreciate not being bumped into.

Although you may not have to worry about falling into a canal, you can ensure that you aren’t a victim of distracted walking while on campus.