Cell-Phone Related Injuries in the United States from 2000‒2012

Andreas Saltos, Daniel Smith, Kristin Schreiber, Sarah Lichenstein, Richard Lichenstein


Background: The incidence of injuries sustained by cell phone users other than drivers and pedestrians is not well characterized.

Methods: The National Electronic Injury Surveillance (NEISS) database was searched to identify injuries involving cell phone use in all settings. The study period was January 2000 to December 2012.

Results: We identified 515 records of ED visits related to cell phone use. 48% of injuries occurred in the home setting. Sixty-two percent of the patients were female; 55% were younger than 40. National estimates, derived from weighted case incidence, revealed statistically significant increases in the number of annual cases, particularly for injuries sustained while texting. Most injuries were minor, but 11% of patients required hospitalization.

Discussion: The estimated national number of injuries associated with cell phone use is increasing annually in all scenarios studied, particularly among pedestrians and while texting.

Conclusion: Distraction is inherent during cell phone use. The injury risk posed by cell phone use must be an integral component of prevention strategies and product design.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jss.v1i1.7470


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