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Study: Texting Accounts For 39% Of Distracted Walking Among Teens

file photo (credit: Roslan Rahman/Getty Images)

file photo (credit: Roslan Rahman/Getty Images)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Distracted driving has received a lot of attention over the last few years, but what about distracted walking?

A new study from Safe Kids Worldwide reveals that one in five high school and one in eight middle school students crosses the street while distracted.

The report, called “Teens and Distraction: An In-Depth Look at Teens’ Walking Behaviors,” recorded more than 34,000 teens crossing the street in a school zone. It also looked at what devices the distracted teens were using.

Thirty-nine-percent of distracted walkers are texting, and another 39-percent are wearing headphones. The remaining students are either talking on the phone (20-percent) or playing on a handheld device (2-percent).

Furthermore, almost half the students (49-percent) polled said they used a cell phone while walking to school.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, the study was commissioned after a 2012 report found pedestrian injuries to 16-19 year olds increased 25% over the last five years.

Teens in that age group now account for half of all pedestrian deaths among those under 19.

“Distraction is a big problem, both while driving and walking,” said Kate Carr, President and CEO of Safe Kids. “Parents, talk to your kids to make sure they are paying full attention when crossing the street. And we adults need to follow our own advice. If we put our devices down, our kids are more likely to do the same.”

To see the study results, click here.

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