It’s well known that texting while driving is a major safety concern, and previous research has shown the dangers of texting while walking. But recent findings provide even more evidence of the risks of distracted walking.
The study by researchers in Australia involved 26 participants who were asked to walk a straight line under three different scenarios. The first was without a cell phone, the second while reading a text message, and the last while texting. The most significant problems occurred while sending a text. However, there were still some negative effects for those who were engaged in reading a text.
Through this, researchers discovered that balance and posture were negatively affected when texting while walking. There was less neck movement, people walked slower and they tended to swerve.
These are clearly safety risks for anyone attempting to avoid an obstacle such as walking over an uneven surface or stepping around debris. But it’s also dangerous when attempting to cross a road, particularly when there is traffic.
Dangers of Distracted Walking
Numerous stories of embarrassing moments have emerged across the nation since distracted walking became an issue. But a few moments of embarrassment are nothing compared to the serious and sometimes fatal injuries that can be sustained.
Texting isn’t the only problem. Others are distracted by talking on a cell phone or listening to their music with headphones. The dangers stem from not paying attention to one’s surroundings (many people are looking down or just unaware of what’s going on) and from not hearing ambient noises (such as a car honking or a bicyclist ringing his/her bell).
An Ohio State University study estimated that in 2010 more than 1,500 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms for injuries they sustained related to cell phone use while walking. This was up from an estimated 256 in 2005, according to the study.
If you or someone you love was injured in a pedestrian accident or any distraction-related accident, contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates for legal help – 800-550-0000.