DENVER (CBS4)  More people are getting injured from distracted walking. A new study out of Ohio State University shows that walking and talking or texting on a cell phone can be dangerous, and even deadly.

People sent 135 billion texts a month in 2009. In 2010 more than 1,500 people were injured while walking and using the cell phone.

“There’s an increasing rate of injuries during the last six years related to cell phone use among pedestrians,” Jack Nasar with Ohio State University said.

Pedestrians walk into fountains and hanging plants. Videos on YouYube make it seem almost funny, but researchers say it’s no joke.

“People who were talking on cell phones were roughly twice as likely to walk unsafely into oncoming traffic as people who were not on cell phones,” Nasar said.

“I got hit by a car one time. I was crossing the street, or I thought it was my turn to cross the street, and it was not,” a woman on the 16th Street Mall in Denver said.

Researchers say the brain doesn’t multitask well. It goes from one thing to another.

“Your eyes are open, but your brain isn’t. Your brain is in the telephone, not in the environment,” Nasar said.

The study found that talking is more dangerous than texting. Talking caused nearly 70 percent of injuries compared to nine percent while texting.

One video shows a man on the phone walk right off a train platform.

“We know from following news around the country that various people have been hit by buses, trucks, cars while talking on their cell phones and walking,” Nasar said.

Researchers also found that distracted walking caused more injuries than distracted driving.

The study found that young people and men suffered the most injuries from distracted walking.


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