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Texting Increases Danger For Pedestrians

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Pedestrians who text while walking are significantly more likely to be injured, says a new study from researchers at University of Washington. For the study, the researchers monitored pedestrian traffic at twenty of the busiest intersections in Seattle.

They found that pedestrians who are texting are four times less likely to look before crossing the street, cross at designated areas or obey traffic lights. They also found that it took texting pedestrians two seconds longer, on average, to clear intersections.

"Mobile devices have added to efficiency, but also follow us home and intrude into areas where concentration is required, like crossing a busy intersection," says lead researchers Dr. Beth Ebel.

"Ultimately a shift in normative attitudes about pedestrian behavior, similar to efforts around drunk-driving, will be important to limit the risk of mobile device use," she adds. "I also hope parents will consider specifically discussing our findings with their kids, and will also consider the impact of their role-modeling on what children perceive as competent adult behavior. As parents, what we say matters much less than what we do."

The data was published Wednesday in the journal Injury Prevention.

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