Mobiles send pedestrians crashing into hospitals

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Mobiles send pedestrians crashing into hospitals
Bangalore, Jan 19: While its an established fact that using the mobile phones while driving could lead to accidents, new studies and findings show that talking or texting while walking could have similar effects too.

A report in New York Times , which sheds light on the detrimental effects of using cellphones while walking, lists several instances of people ending up in hospitals after crashing into things while walking distracted by the world's favourite electronic gadget.

A study conducted by Ohio State University, shows that in 2008 over 1,000 pedestrians visited emergency rooms as they tripped, fell or ran into something while using a cellphone. And the numbers double every year.

The increasing trend of people perceiving single-tasking as boring has led cognitive psychologists, neurologists and other researchers to study the impact of multitasking.

Studies suggest that using a cellphone uses considerable amount of the person's cognition (or thinking process) and awareness.

Even though we all want to believe that the talking on the cellphone requires only auditory attention, researches state otherwise. Studies have found that cellphones require as much as our visual attention as auditory.

These basic findings sum up the the reasons behind people running into poles, crashing into parked vehicle and even meeting with serious accidents while busy on the phone.

Using cellphones also trumps the traditional measure of pedestrian skill at multitasking - chewing gum.

Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco, who pointed out that walking and chewing are repetitive well practised tasks and are therefore automatic, said, “They don"t compete for resources like texting and walking."

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