And now a survey from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons confirms that 78 percent of U.S. adults find the habit not just annoying, but also a "serious" issue. The problem? Few of us actually cop to doing it.
While 74 percent of Americans say "other people" engage in distracted walking, only 29 percent own up to doing it themselves. Clearly, the math doesn't add up.
The majority is right about one thing: Distracted walking is a dangerous thing to do. A 2012 study found that texting walkers were 61 percent more likely to stray off course than those who walked without technological distractions. That can have occasionally injurious consequences. For example, one woman fell into a mall fountain while on her phone and a man in the Philadelphia area stumbled over a train platform, head first onto the tracks (fortunately, he climbed back out).
"Today, the dangers of the 'digital deadwalker' are growing with more and more pedestrians falling down stairs, tripping over curbs, bumping into other walkers, or stepping into traffic causing a rising number of injuries -- from scrapes and bruises to sprains and fractures," AAOS spokesperson Alan Hilibrand said in a statement.
The research found that women age 55 and old are most likely to sustain serious injuries from digital deadwalking, while millennials are least likely to be hurt -- even though this group of distracted digital devotees is reported to engage in the behavior more often.
What've we learned here today? Just don't do it. No matter what you believe, humans do not have a knack for multi-tasking, and being on the phone all the time isn't good for anybody. Allow the activity of walking from point A to point B to be the main event. (Smell those roses!) If you don't, you're more than likely to miss out on an Instagram-worthy shot. #NotWinning.
Now tell the truth:
For tips on being a better pedestrian and more information about how Americans text, check out the infographic from AAOS below.
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