Have you ever thought about the dangers of texting while walking? It’s a real danger! An emergency medicine physician says that nearly 10% of pedestrian injuries in the US are related to cell phone use. In fact, there are more injuries sustained per mile from texting and walking than from texting and driving – although injuries from texting and driving are typically more serious.
When walking and texting, you face three distractions: walking, looking and thinking. Texting also involves three distractions: texting, reading and composing. The result is often bumping into walls, tripping, ,falling down stairs, or walking into traffic.
The University of Queensland in Australia examined how texting affects body motion or “gait performance.” The results, which may seem obvious, show individuals who are texting and walking at the same time are more likely to be thrown off balance and deviate from walking a straight line.
Tech companies are working on new technologies that can help reduce the incidents of injury while texting, including using the phone’s camera to provide video of the user’s path as a background to the text screen. For now, however, the best (most obvious) advice is to avoid reading and sending texts while you walk.