Definitive Proof That Texting While You’re Walking Isn’t A Great Idea

Not just dickish. Dangerous too, apparently


by Debrief Staff |
Published on

Texting at the same time as walking. On the one hand, it couldn’t physically be more annoying when someone else is doing it in the street and blocks your way as you scrabble to get into work on time but, on the other hand, it’s something you do. All the time, right?

I once bruised both eyes after walking into a lamppost while texting my friend about an embarrassing thing I’d just seen someone do on the train platform. And that, my friends, is a little lesson in something called ‘karma’.

READ MORE: Can Your Retina Detach From Too Much Late Night Texting?

But what if we were to tell you that texting and walking didn’t just make you look like a little bit of a prick, it was actually significantly putting your health at risk? According to a new study, texting while walking poses a significant distraction to pedestrians and could put them in harm’s way – and it’s young people who are most at risk.

Researchers from Safe Kids Worldwide followed 34,000 young people and discovered that they were more at risk of getting hit by cars while distracted than any other demographic they have studied in the past.

In a previous study, researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia arrived at the same conclusion after asking their subjects to walk nine metres in a straight line without distractions, and then repeat the walk a second time while reading from a mobile phone and a third time while texting.

They found that we tend to deviate furthest from the line the most when texting and also tended to walk slower with our heads and necks in a more rigid posture. If that wasn’t enough to make you reconsider walking and texting, researchers also found that texting affects our balance as well.

READ MORE: We Will Definitely Not Be Sleeping With Our Phones Under The Pillow After Seeing This

The findings of the research is consistent with stories we’ve been hearing about for a while. An Ohio State university also recently uncovered that injuries involving mobile phone use while walking have more than doubled between 2005 and 2010.

And, of course, there was that terrifying story of a young woman in Melbourne who was so distracted by using her phone that she actually fell off the pier. Thankfully, she was rescued unharmed. But no word yet on whether her pride is still intact.

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Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophiecullinane

Picture: Getty

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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