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Report: There's Danger in Texting While Walking

Although it's quite obvious why texting while driving can be a fatal act, who would have thought that texting while walking could be dangerous? Apparently there are reports of people walking into cars and lamp posts because their eyes are glued to the screen.

According to a report by Dr. Joanna Lumdsen of Aston University, one in ten mobile phone users have harmed themselves while walking and texting. During the British Science Festival at Birmingham, Lumdsen said that new studies suggest that texting requires so much brain power that mobile phone users simply can't see one in five potential hazards as they walk down the sidewalk.

"The way mobile phone devices are designed means that we have to focus our visual attention and a lot of our mental processing resources on our mobile phones if want to write and send a text message," she told the audience during her presentation. "Accident and emergency departments are seeing more people as a result of texting."

She also added that two London-based teenage pedestrians are killed or injured each day as a result of texting while walking.

To prove her point, she previously conducted a laboratory experiment in which volunteers followed a color-coded path while texting on their phones. Video monitors mounted around the path flashed colors and instructions on how to avoid stepping on one particular color painted on the floor. Results showed that one in five colors were "hit."

"In real life this means that one in five bollards, lamp pots, raised curbs or even moving vehicles is likely to go unnoticed by people texting and walking," she said. "The safest thing is for people not to text as they walk along. But a lot of people in business are expected to carry a BlackBerry or mobile phone and be in constant contact 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are under pressure to reply to calls instantly, and to respond to text messages and emails straight away."

Currently Lumdsen is researching ways for manufacturers to improve on-the-go texting including easier voice controls and gesture-controlled solutions.

  • maigo
    People can't pay attention, but we don't blame them?
  • sabot00
    O Rly?
    Ya Srsly!

    In other news: Blind people are more likely to hit things.
  • IM0001
    Surprised people like this can blink and breath at the same time lol.
  • vant
    Testing while walking?
  • stupiful
    stupid people being removed from gene pool = working as intended
  • sejin
    People need to learn to just put down their phones, is the text message really worth walking into a lamp post or totaling your car?
  • Morgan3rd
    I've fallen down stairs while texting. To be fair the stairs were also damaged.
  • kalogagatya
    Some people i know shouldn't text at all....
  • lashabane
    sabot00O Rly?Ya Srsly!In other news: Blind people are more likely to hit things.Actually I imagine the visually impaired are less likely than these fools.
  • sacre
    But, what people fail to say is how amazing it is in the first place that our body is able to somewhat control its direction using peripheral vision while you sit glued on the device.

    Anywho, yes it is somewhat dangerous to do so, but nothing can be done to fix this. You can only use common sense. I swear if they ban walking while texting i'm going to get slightly upset then deal with it because we will never really fight back.