National Geographic Reveals What Really Happens When You Text


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Due to the increased risk for car accidents, Charleston bans texting while driving. The most recent annual statistics show that 3,328 people were killed by distracted driving nationally, while another 421,000 were injured. Despite the dangers and laws which many municipalities have instated that outlaw cell phone use while driving, there are still 660,000 Americans using their phones behind the wheel at any given moment. With that said, drivers aren't the only ones causing car accidents while texting. Pedestrians do it as well. In fact, 40% of teens say they've nearly been hit by a bike, motorcycle, or car while walking and 38% of them were texting or talking on a phone when it happened. Risks of Walking While Texting A Stony Brook University study found that people are 61% more likely to veer off course when they text while walking. They're also 13% more likely to overshoot their target. Researchers at Ohio State University discovered that visits to the ER from injuries related to cell phone use tripled from 2004-2010. The issue is of such great concern that many light posts on busy London streets now have protective covers over them so text-walkers don't injure themselves on them. National Geographic Study In a highly unscientific, yet intriguing investigation, National Geographic found out exactly how unobservant text-walkers are. They had a man in a gorilla suit position himself prominently on a busy city sidewalk and they filmed the reactions of those who walked by. Although most people responded to the unexpected tourist, the research team was amazed at the number of people on phones who didn't see him at all. They also note that simply talking on a phone can reduce your peripheral vision, but texting can reduce it to as much as one-tenth its normal range. This is because your brain actually redirects neurons which would normally be used for peripheral vision to help you focus on your phone. Over the past seven years, the number of people sent to the hospital for injuries which occurred because they texted while walking has quadrupled. Because of this, National Geographic took their research a step further and created lanes on the sidewalk for text-walkers to use. If the results seen in their second video are any indication of the overall response, it's not likely to curb cellphone-related injuries. The bottom line is that it's not physically possible to safely text while walking or driving. As a pedestrian, it increases the chances that you'll walk into harm's way or be hit by an automobile. As a driver, it increases your risk of being involved in a car accident. While National Geographic managed to put an amusing spin on it, it's a very serious concern with deadly consequences.

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