Walking while talking or texting on your cell phone can be a distraction just as dangerous as driving while using your cell, a study finds.
We’ve all seen people walking down the street with their head down, fixatedly punching in a text message or email. You can even watch countless videos of people walking and talking online, completely oblivious to their surroundings. One minute they’re walking down the street sending a text message, the next minute they’re walking into a mailbox.
A study by Ohio State University which appears in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention shows that injuries to pedestrians using mobile phones have more than tripled since 2005.
For cell-phone related injuries, the increase for pedestrians is parallel to that for drivers. The national estimate of injuries related to cell phone use among distracted walkers was 256 in 2005 and 1506 in 2010. For drivers, it was 585 in 2005 and 1162 in 2010. Statistics came from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission on injuries in hospital emergency rooms.
The study also finds that pedestrian injuries related to cell phones were higher for men than women, and higher for people under 31 years old.
Basically, using a cell phone while walking, even if you’re just talking on it, puts users at risk of accident, injury or death. Next time you’re tempted to walk and talk, remember that it can wait.