HEALTHY LIVING
06/22/2013 11:01 am ET

Distracted Walking Injuries From Cell Phone Use More Than Double Since 2005

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More and more people are getting injured as a result of walking while using their phones, according to a new study.

The research, published the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, shows that injuries from so-called "distracted walking" have more than doubled since 2005. And "if current trends continue, I wouldn't be surprised if the number of injuries to pedestrians caused by cell phones doubles again between 2010 and 2015," study researcher Jack Nasar, professor of city and regional planning at The Ohio State University, said in a statement.

The study included data analysis from 2004 to 2010 on cell-phone related injuries among pedestrians, that occurred out in public. In 2004, there were 559 related injuries that required treatment in emergency rooms. In 2005, there were 256 such injuries, but the number has skyrocketed to more than 1,500 in 2010.

Meanwhile, the overall number of pedestrians having injuries that required emergency room attention has dropped between 2004 and 2010, from 97,000 to 41,000.

Researchers found that younger people -- between ages 16 and 25 -- were most likely to be injured from cell phone-related distracted walking. And perhaps surprisingly, talking on the cell phone was linked with more injuries in this age group than from texting on the cell phone. However, researchers noted that this finding doesn't mean texting-while-walking is safer than talking-while-walking -- instead, it might just mean that it's easier to talk while walking, so more people do it.

Electronics are the top culprit for distracted driving, too. According to a recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, phones are the most common electronic device that distracts teen drivers on the road, HuffPost Teen reported.

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