More Than Half of Cell Owners Affected by ‘Distracted Walking'

  • January 02, 2014

Stories about cellphone distractions are rarely out of the news these days.  A new law in Illinois went into effect on January 1, prohibiting drivers from using cellphones that are not hands-free and California tightened its rules by making it illegal for drivers under 18 to use voice-activated texting, handheld, or hands-free calling. Many police departments, like the one in Lubbock, Tex., have announced new enforcement programs for 2014 aimed at distracted drivers.

The related problem of distracted walking also has its moments, such as the late-December story about an Australian woman who walked off a pier because she was more intent on checking out Facebook than watching where she was going. That incident joins the pantheon of examples of distracted walking, including the viral video of a young woman plunging into a mall fountain because she was engrossed in her small screen.

A Pew Research Center survey in mid-2012 found that 23% of cell owners have physically bumped into another person or object because they were distracted by using their phone, a statistically significant increase from the 17% of cell owners who said that this had happened to them the first time we asked this question in May 2010.

Read the full article at the Pew Research Center.