To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Researchers want phones to disable when you start walking due to safety fears

Researchers want phones to disable when you start walking due to safety fears

A study concluded that people who walk and text are more likely to have accidents.

By now we know not to text and drive. But what about texting and walking?

A new study, that has been published in the journal Heliyon, has found that people who text while walking are more likely to have accidents.

The peer-reviewed experimental study by Neuroscience Research Australia at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) was conducted to find out the real dangers of texting while walking.

“On any day it seems as many as 80 per cent of people, both younger and older, may be head down and texting. I wondered: is this safe?” said senior author Matthew Brodie, a neuroscientist and engineer at UNSW.

“This made me want to investigate the dangers of texting while walking.

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

"I wanted to know if these dangers are real or imagined and to measure the risk in a repeatable way.”

To conduct the study, the researchers observed a group of 50 university students walking around in a simulated environment, with random slip hazards, while texting.

The 10-metre walkway was made up of 50 centimetre by 50 centimetre wooden decking tiles and 10 vinyl targets, which were laid on the walkway for participants to step on.

The walkway also had a tile that could be adjusted to move out of place, so anyone who stepped on it could lose their footing.

The students wore a safety harness to prevent injury, and sensors to collect their motion data, while they walked along the walkway either texting 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog' or not texting.

They found that even when they warned the students about the potential hazard, the risk was not minimised when they were texting.

The researchers also found that every student reacted differently to the threat of slipping.

"Some slowed down and took a more cautious approach. Others sped up in anticipation of slipping. Such different approaches reinforce how no two people are the same, and to better prevent accidents from texting while walking, multiple strategies may be needed," Brodie explained.

The researchers suggested technology could be used to detect walking and activate a phone screen lock to prevent people texting while they're on the move.

Some phones have that software already when the device works out that you're driving a car.

Featured Image Credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.

Topics: News, Technology