BOSTON (CBS) – Texting has become such a habit for many of us that you might not even think twice about texting while walking down a crowded street. But texting on-the-go could mean trouble. On the Boston University campus it was easy to spot college students with their heads buried in their keyboards while walking between classes. And many of them admit they are so distracted they bump into people or posts a few times a week.
It happens because the two tasks, walking and texting, are competing for our brain’s attention. Researchers at New York’s Stony Brook University found that even the most adept texters were not aware of where they were walking. “When they were walking and texting deviation was 60% away from the straight line. That’s a huge amount to be off course,” says Lisa Muratori a researcher at Stony Brook University.
Veering off course, even slightly, may not seem like a big deal, but hospitals report a growing number of injuries from texting and walking from chin scrapes to broken bones.
In Michigan, Shawn Spencer landed in the hospital after walking right into traffic while texting. At a train station in Australia, a distracted texter didn’t see a baby rolling right on to the train tracks. There is a law in one Idaho town banning texting in the street. In London, they tried padding lamp posts.
And if all else fails, there is a texting app that shows the ground below while you’re sending out that message.