Distracted Walking and Smartphones a Dangerous Combination
The headlines are filled with stories about the dangers of distracted driving but there is a new concern brewing on the horizon, distracted walking! In a recent study in the journal, Injury Prevention, more and more pedestrians are texting, emailing, tweeting, Instagramming and Facebooking while they are walking, resulting in approximately 80 percent of injuries sustained by pedestrians. Does that sound shocking?
In the U.S., almost everyone owns a cellphone, over 90 percent of the population to be exact. More than half of all the adult cellphone users have been affected by the distracted walking problem, either by stopping someone who was distracted while walking or because they were distracted themselves. It is expected that the problem will only get worse as people become more tech dependent than they already are.
The study further showed that the type of device played an important role when it came to distracted walkers. Smartphone users were more distracted while walking than those who did not have smartphones, perhaps suggesting that the greater the technology available, the greater the potential for use of the device while, in this case, walking.
Distracted Walking And Multi-Tasking
We all think that we can multi-task and in today’s fast pasted society, we all feel that we need to multi-task. There is one thing, however, that prevents us from actually multi-tasking…. our brain. Specifically, we cannot walk and text at the same time, it is referred to as split screen thinking and we are not programmed to think that way. As humans, were are limited to one task at a time and if we do not focus on one task at a time, we become distracted.
Young Drivers of Canada, through its exclusive Cognifit program teaches drivers to control their brain activity while behind the wheel in an effort to prevent the consequences of distracted driving. The program is designed to assess a driver’s reaction time and willingness to take risks and focus while behind the wheel. The brain’s ability to react to driving situations accurately is assessed with corrective measures implemented within the program. The goal of the YD Cognifit program is to assess and improve a driver’s cognitive abilities while they are behind the wheel. You can’t get away with walking and texting or driving and texting. If you have, luck has been on your side but that luck won’t always be there!