We know that texting while walking is unsafe, but we’re still guilty of doing it anyway. Now, a new study featured on TIME shows just how dangerous it is to have your eyes on your phone and your feet on autopilot.

Researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia asked 26 volunteers to walk nine meters in a straight line with no distractions. Afterward, they walked the same distance a second time while reading from a mobile phone, and a third time while sending an SMS.

Using a three-dimensional movement analysis system, researchers found that those who texted while walking deviated from the line the most. They also strained their heads and their necks, walked slower, and seemed to have reduced balance while focused on their phones.

Texting has become one of the major causes of road accidents for both drivers and pedestrians. If you have have to send or read a message, wait until you've crossed the street first. Don't take another step until you've finished texting.


(Photo by Jeremy Noble via Flickr Creative Commons)

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