Everyone agrees that texting while operating a motor vehicle is hazardous and increases the risk of injury or fatal accident.However, when you compare statistics based on injuries per mile, it is texting while walking that seems to be much more dangerous.
There has been a growing body of research recently that seems to point to an increased risk of pedestrian injuries when people are texting while walking. For example, new research by the University of Buffalo specifically focused on injuries per mile caused when a person is texting while walking.According to the research, the consequences of texting while walking include falling down stairs, walking into walls, pillars and other stationary objects, and walking into traffic.
A person who is texting while walking is much less likely to notice a bump on the sidewalk, or obstacle in a driveway.Even though there are more injuries caused every year by texting while driving, injuries caused by texting while walking tend to be more serious.People who were texting while walking were 61% more likely to go off course while walking, and were also likely to overshoot their target by as much as 30%, compared to when they were walking without distractions.
The researchers also found that 10% of pedestrians treated for injuries in emergency rooms every year were involved in a texting-related incident.
The researchers blame this increased texting activity by pedestrians on the popularity of social networking sites like Facebook.Smart phones are smarter, and faster than ever before, and it is simply far too easy to check your Facebook page, or instant message on Whatsapp or any of the several other instant messaging services out there.Young pedestrians seem to be at the highest risk for such behaviors, including those ages 16 to 30.
You don’t necessarily have to be outside to be injured when you’re texting while walking.Even if you’re walking around at home with your smart phone in your hand you are at risk of falling down stairs, or tripping over that upturned corner of the carpet that you never noticed because you were texting.