ROBOTIC HAZE: Texting or checking emails while walking is dangerous.
ROBOTIC HAZE: Texting or checking emails while walking is dangerous. Photodisc

Texting while walking a dangerous mix: study

TEXTERS dawdling along in a robotic haze are at risk of serious injury.

A University of Queensland study has found texting while walking causes people to slow down and veer off their path.

Reading or texting while navigating obstacles or crossing the road puts phone users at even higher risk of injury.

The authors of the study said while the dangers of texting and driving had received considerable interest, attention had shifted only recently to safety risks associated with texting while walking.

"Individuals who type text while crossing the street in a virtual pedestrian environment experience more hits by motor vehicles, and look away from the street environment more frequently, than those who are not distracted," they said.

"Similarly, use of the email function on a mobile phone, which employs similar cognitive and manual demands as texting, reduces gait velocity, stride length and stance phase during walking."

Do you text while walking?

This poll ended on 30 January 2014.

Current Results

Yes, all the time

8%

Sometimes

28%

No, never have

59%

I did, but stopped after running into someone while doing it

3%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Sunshine Coast Medicare Local spokesman Peter Dobson said inattention was dangerous when walking, driving or using public transport.

"Texting takes your attention away from what you are doing and it only takes a moment of distraction for an accident to occur," Dr Dobson said.

"Injuries could range from minor bumps and bruises to more serious falls, or at the worst end of the spectrum, the risk of severe injuries from car accidents.

"We encourage people to pay attention, especially on busy streets."

 

Texting ban

A sharp increase in the number of pedestrians injured while talking or texting on a mobile phone since 2006 led to bans on texting while walking in a New Jersey town.



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