This is a good one for the holiday season–and ahead of your commute home.
A majority (78 percent) of U.S. adults believe that distracted walking is a serious issue, but only 29 percent see themselves as the culprit.
The new study by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) found that many (46 percent) feel distracted walking is a danger, yet 31 percent admit it is something they are likely to do.
In the words of Alan Hilibrand, MD, AAOS spokesperson:
Today, the dangers of the ‘digital deadwalker’ are growing with more and more pedestrians falling down stairs, tripping over curbs, bumping into other walkers, or stepping into traffic causing a rising number of injuries–from scrapes and bruises to sprains and fractures.”
The AAOS cited a 2013 study that showed a doubling in emergency department hospital visits for injuries involving distracted pedestrians on cell phones between 2004 and 2010 (see our earlier post on that study here).
So how common is distracted walking?
According to the AAOS, nearly four out of 10 Americans say they have witnessed a distracted walking incident, and just over one quarter (26 percent) say they have been in an incident themselves.
One of the challenges in combating distracted walking may be that people are overly confident in their ability to multitask, the AAOS found.
When asked why they walk distracted, 48 percent of respondents say they just don’t think about it, while 28 percent feel they can walk and do other things, and 22 percent say they are busy and want to use their time productively.
The AAOS survey which was conducted by polling firm IPSOS involved more than 2,000 respondents nationally and another 4,000 total in select urban areas.
Here’s the infographic: