City covers lampposts with airbags to protect ‘smartphone zombies’

(WHDH) — Officials in Austria have decided to cover lampposts in Salzburg with air bags because of “smartphone zombies” who keep injuring themselves while walking around the city.

Express reports that the number of people who are injuring themselves walking into lampposts while checking their smartphone is on the rise, forcing city officials to implement safety measures.

The news outlet says that local research found that one in five pedestrians are at risk of injury due to smartphones distractions. Those pedestrians are known locally as smartphone zombies.

“We are of the opinion that when people see this very public warning in the form of lamppost airbags of the dangers of not paying attention, they will change their behavior,” local official Martin Pfanner said.

The problem in the city is so severe, that the amount of pedestrian-lamppost accidents top any other in the city, according to Pfanner. That includes accidents involving motor vehicles, cyclists and mopeds.

Similar safety initiatives have been adopted around the world.

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