Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Calvedale falls, Rossmoore, Maine, and Bedford Falls, New York fall are typical
People are tripping all over the place – and rightly so.
It’s a hazard that has frustrated officials for decades.
Falls are serious because you can end up unconscious or injured when turning a corner and suddenly find yourself on the ground.
Have you seen this problem? Have you hurt yourself? Have you tripped and fallen?
Then you know it’s not just the occasional near miss for the coach, but a worrying, persistent problem.
Image copyright BBC/PR
How long do they take to fix it?
Well, this is something the city of Tampa, Florida, hopes to find out – the first of three new experiments with a walkability app called MyFalls.
Let’s go back to our picture. A group of 12 volunteers had been recorded walking into the middle of a vacant lot.
The last one to cross fell from his stride into the edge of the empty plot, with the impact going through his knee, fracturing it in two places.
He had the rest of the day to spend at the hospital, being treated by a team of eight residents.
The phone wasn’t positioned behind them, but in front.
Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn watched, and was moved to say “our future here is very bright.”
Now they have commissioned a third trial, to see if MyFalls can help rung out those two spaces ahead of time.
Image copyright Steve Swann Image caption Steve Swann has been tripping regularly
Steve Swann is the founder of a parenting awareness group called A Fistful of Fingers.
He started tripping at his local park – and the problem got worse as he got older.
This year he installed sensors in his own home, tracking how often he tripped.
After two months, he thought he was noticing a pattern.
“Five minutes a day seemed to be about the average. Three minutes was better, and he was feeling good.”
Perhaps the sensor was right after all.
But when he texted a friend to ask why, the answer was more depressing.
“Your house rate is £75,000. The person who just had your kids was $400,000.”
“And you were on a budget of around $50,000?”
Steve recalled the friend then said: “This wasn’t just one party, or one kid. It’s insidious”.
Media playback is not supported on this device Melbourne ‘could not wait to have a wobble’
“I got in touch with my local politician and called for more funding.”
He got an ovation at the last meeting.
Eight other volunteers were tripping just as often, so the new test started.
Image copyright Finsbury Park Fountain, Glasgow Image caption Not just students. The fountain attracts people from all walks of life
There are a couple of other steps to take if you’re feeling a little tired at work, or need a break from your commute home.
You can be monitored by the app, and the team at myFalls will make sure you’re safe.
Or you can just cross behind someone else.
You know – on your own.