Applied Cognitive Psychology recently published a study on one of the newest ways we, as humans, have found of obstructing traffic – walking while texting (WwT). I, myself, have been guilty of WwT, but I’ve recently resolved to curb my “mobile” texting habits because, to be honest, I find the practice incredibly annoying.
Adepts of WwT tend to walk slowly and aimlessly, which makes them very hard to pass on the sidewalk. Granted, they mostly just endanger themselves, but their lack of spatial awareness makes them a hazard nonetheless. As you can tell, my feelings on the subject are rather strong, so I was tickled when I read the title of the following study: “Practicing Safe Text: the impact of Texting on Walking Behaviour.”
In this study, the researchers, headed by Dr. Stacy M. Lopresti-Goodman of Marymount University, looked at how walking while texting alters an individual’s own walking behaviour. The researchers found that, on average, people who engaged in WwT were much more cautious than walkers who weren’t texting. Despite this excess in caution, “texters” did not avoid obstacles with more ease than “non-texters.” The scientists concluded that being overly cautious while texting does not decrease the chances of being involved in an accident.