How Risky Is Texting While Walking?

Study Shows High Number Of Pedestrians Injured While Texting, Talking On Cellphone

The consequences of walking while texting or talking on your cellphone can be embarrassing and, according to a recent study, dangerous.

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In a video that has been viewed four million times on YouTube, a woman is seen walking through a mall as she is texting. The woman then ends up tumbling into a fountain.

While observing one corner in the Gaslamp Quarter, 10News witnessed at least 10 people texting while walking, even while crossing the street.

Dr. Matt Healy, who works in Sharp Memorial Hospital's emergency room, said he has seen only one minor head injury from texting while walking -- that he knows about.

"I'm sure a lot of people feel silly about it and so who knows, we don't always get the right story," said Healy.

According to a national study conducted by Ohio State University, more than 1,000 pedestrians went to the emergency room in 2008 after being injured while texting or talking on a cellphone -- double the number from the year before.

Carlsbad resident Nicole Brott said she draws the line at texting while crossing streets, but as for texting while walking, she said she'll keep doing it.

"It's usually work-related so I get work done while I'm walking," said Brott.

10News learned a new application is available for those determined to continue texting while walking. There are multiple versions that use a phone's camera to show a user what's ahead, so while typing away, he or she can go around any objects.

Experts say the only foolproof way to avoid an injury is to stop moving while texting -- something many people don't seem to want to give up.

According to a scientific 10News poll, the majority of San Diegans said they do not text while walking.

In the poll, 13 percent said they do it regularly, 23 percent said they text and walk occasionally and 63 percent said they almost never do both at the same time.

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