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If you’re accident-prone you might want to recycle your mobile phone and go without because you could be one of the millions of people putting themselves at risk by texting while walking on busy streets says a scientist who held a number of experiments to discover her findings.

One in ten people injure themselves by absent-mindedly strutting into notice bollards, lamp-posts or cars according to research conducted by Dr Joanna Lumdsen of Aston University.

She tells the British Science Festival in Birmingham: “The way mobile phone devices are designed means that we have to focus our visual attention and a lot of our mental processing resources on our mobile phones if want to write and send a text message.

“One in 10 people are believed to have had some kind of accident as a result of texting while walking. Accident and emergency departments are seeing more people as a result of texting.”

To test the dangers, Dr Lumsden invited volunteers into a laboratory experiement in which she asked them to follow a colour-coded path while texting, avoiding certain colours on the floor.

The findings revealed that people miss one in five potential hazards because they are so preoccupied with their phones. “In real life this means that one in five bollards, lamp pots, raised kerbs or even moving vehicles is likely to go unnoticed by people texting and walking,” she said.

“The safest thing is for people not to text as they walk along,' she said. 'But a lot of people in business are expected to carry a BlackBerry or mobile phone and be in constant contact 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“They are under pressure to reply to calls instantly, and to respond to text messages and emails straight away.” So if you don’t want to injure yourself, perhaps it’s best to sell your phone.




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