Have You Experienced 'Distracted Walking' While Using Your Cell Phone?

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By Jesselle Maminta | January 8, 2014 6:30 PM EST

Have you ever bumped at something or someone as you use your phone while walking? You're not alone. 

A recent study by the Pew Research Center revealed that half of all the cell phone owners in the U.S. have bumped into another person when using their phones while walking. On the other hand, 23% of all the cell phone owners admits to bumping onto something or someone because of using their phone while walking. 

chart file shared with permission from Statista
chart file shared with permission from Statista

Pew Research also found that the kind of phones being used affects their chances of "distracted walking." Thirty-two percent of smartphone owners have experienced bumping into something or someone while walking when using their phones, as compared to 14% of non-smartphone owners having the same accident. Young adults (aged 18-24) are particularly prone to "distracted walking" with more than half of them bumping into an object or another person while walking and tinkering on their phones at the same time. Seventy percent of this same group said they have been bumped by another person because he was walking while using their phones. 

Also, the kind of activity done on the phone also determines their chances of bumping or getting bumped into, as some 37% of those who use their phones most of the time that have to go online has had "distracted walking" moments.

The research came in light of the recent incidents where the people involved are using their phones while walking. One such incident was in Melbourne, Australia, where a female tourist fell off the St. Kilda pier because she was too busy checking her Facebook account on her phone instead of keeping her eyes on the path she was walking. 

In the U.S., numerous rules on cell phone use, particularly while driving, have been imposed in different states. For instance, Illinois prohibits drivers to use their non-hands-free cell phones while driving, effective Jan. 1. California, on the other hand, makes it illegal for drivers under 18 years old to use voice-activated texting, hands-free or handheld calling.  

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chart file shared with permission from Statista
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