We live in a world that is constantly wired. Imagine walking down the street and visualize the people around you. How many of them are looking down at their smart phones, texting away, checking emails, picking out a song to listen to?
According to a study conducted by Beth Ebel in cooperation with the University of Washington, one-third of pedestrians in Seattle are distracted by their mobile devices when crossing the street. These people walk at a slower pace, spending two more seconds in intersections than their counterparts. Ebel says that when you use your cell phone, you do not have situational awareness. Simply put, you are oblivious to the activity that is happening around you. This was proven when Ebel’s study found that only one-quarter of the pedestrians she and her team observed properly checked both ways before crossing, obeyed the light and crossed at the correct place. Texters were four times less likely to not do those things than the average pedestrian.
We may think that texting and walking isn’t a big deal, but before you do it the next time you’re out and about, think about this: over 1,100 people ended up in hospitals last year due to injuries acquired while texting and walking. Maybe that text can wait until you’ve arrived at your destination.