Can You Walk and Talk at the Same Time?
Walking and talking doesn’t sound like too much of a challenge. When it comes to multi-tasking, surely walking and talking at the same time are among the simpler tasks one might attempt. But new data shows that talking on a cell phone while walking may actually be hazardous to your health. Especially when crossing the street.
In 2010, for example, more than 1,500 emergency room visits involved injuries sustained when people were busy talking on their cell phones while walking. That’s double the number of ER visits for similar injuries in 2005, according to a new national study. One researcher speculated that the numbers are likely to double again, by 2015, if nothing changes.
“The role of cell phones in distracted driving injuries and deaths gets a lot of attention and rightly so,” said lead researcher, Jack Nasar, “but we need to also consider the danger cell phone use poses to pedestrians.” Nasar also thinks the numbers represent the tip of the proverbial iceberg. “...I think it is safe to say that the numbers we have are much lower than what is really happening," Nasar said. Research suggests, for instance, that injuries related to distracted drivers talking on cell phones and being involved in accidents is actually far higher than numbers presently suggest.
Jack L. Nasar, Derek Troyer. Pedestrian injuries due to mobile phone use in public places. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 2013; 57: 91 DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2013.03.021