Research Suggests Texting While Walking is a Recipe for Disaster

By Jack Tomlin on at

So it's pretty well ingrained into the social consciousness that texting or phoning while driving is dangerous, if not patently illegal. Furthering that, a study published from the University of Queensland has investigated what risks there are associated with the thoroughly modern practice of texting on a mobile device while walking and what dangers it may pose to the text-walker and the other pedestrians around them.

The investigation was launched after the co-author of the study, Texting and Walking: Strategies for Postural Control and Implications for Safety, heard multiple news stories of text-walkers unwittingly injuring themselves by shuffling off piers or onto train tracks as they stared agog at their screen.

After experimentation in which subjects walked a length of nine metres, texting and not texting, the findings of the report were that: text-walkers amble slower than non-texters while also swerving from a straight gait; their bodies become more rigid meaning detriment to balance; and that the distraction of the device heightens the probability of having an accident because of decreased spatial awareness.

Is text-walking something you can do with ease? Or are you the person behind the text-walker silently dying with impatience as you try to overtake the plodding zombie? [Guardian]