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Study Prompts New Warnings About Texting And Walking

1,500 Distracted Walkers Went To ER Nationwide In 2010
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The dangers of texting and driving are well-known, and 41 states – including New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have banned the practice.

But as CBS 2’s Maurice DuBois reported Wednesday, new research says texting while walking also can be hazardous.

“I’ve walked into a pole,” one person said.

“I saw a person get on a train, and tripped up off their shoes by texting,” another said.

“The gentleman right here almost got hit by a car because he was texting on his phone,” a third said.

According to a new nationwide study from Ohio State University, more than 1,500 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms in 2010 for injuries related to using a cell phone while walking.

“And in the next year, it actually exceeded the injury rate for people who are driving and texting or talking on cell phones,” said study co-author Professor Jack Nasar.

Just how dangerous can texting and walking be? In one video, a woman is seen falling right into a fountain as she uses her phone.

Others have reported dislocated shoulders, broken bones, and concussions.

“Of course the injuries, we’re getting from emergency rooms — we don’t get reports of death,” Nasar said. “So that would be a separate entity, which isn’t covered.”

The authors of the study said the fix is simple – people should move to the side and stop walking to answer at text. The authors also said people should reconsider what is normal for cell phone use.

Researchers said young people ages 21 to 25 are most likely to be injured by distracted walking.

In recent years, New York State Sen. Carl Kruger of Brooklyn has unsuccessfully introduced legislation that would curb the use of portable electronic devices while pedestrians are crossing the street.

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