Texting has become one of the most prevalent modes of communication nowadays; but did you ever know that it can also bring you closer to danger?
A woman from China got her leg stuck in a drainage for almost an hour after she failed to notice the hole on her way because she was ‘busy’ texting.
The lady, who seems to be in her 20s, needed the assistance of fire rescuers who took 45 minutes in dismantling the drain’s cover made of steel where the girl’s left leg was trapped.
Danger, based on study
A group of researchers from the University of Bath and Texas A&M University found out that multitasking while walking, especially when one uses a cellular phone, greatly affects the way a person walks.
“One day I was walking and was totally frustrated by the drunken weaving about of texters who were also trying to carry on phone conversations during their shopping,” scientist Conrad Earnest said.
The scholars attached sensors to the shoes of selected individuals aged 18 to 50 who were asked to cross an obstacle course while using their mobile phones, and compared their performance with those who took the same course by merely walking.
The obstacles mimicked the urban environment with all the curbs, platforms and other distractions found in normal sidewalks, including mannequins who represent people walking towards an opposite direction.
Results revealed that the texters’ movements were significantly slower than the other group to the point that they almost dragged their feet on the floor during the walk. Those who used their phones finished the track on an average time of 25 seconds, while those who remained undistracted took only 19 seconds.
Slow pace, not a guarantee to safety
According to Earnest, slowing down could be a sign that people becomes more cautious with what they are doing since they trying to avoid potential obstacles.
“[Slowing down] suggests they were being more careful to make sure they cleared the step,” the researcher said, but he added that this does not guarantee one’s safety since he also had a similar study showing that mobile phone users are more likely to get involved in traffic accidents.
“It has been proffered that these phenomena are due to inattentional blindness and situational awareness,” one of his co-researchers said, adding that texting while walking or driving will surely make a person more prone to danger.
Are you convinced? These videos might help persuade people all the more not to text as they walk nor drive: