Generation 'Text'? Young Americans text while talking – and walking

November 05, 2013, 10:50 PM GMT+0

One in four 18-29 year olds have accidentally walked into something while texting, while over half have missed something a friend or family member has said to them

Last week, Fort Lee, New Jersey started issuing a $54 fine to people who are caught jaywalking while texting, as it is considered dangerous to themselves and others. The dangers of texting have been confronted on the road already: currently 41 states have instituted laws banning texting behind the wheel, threatening perpetrators with tickets and fines.

According to new research by YouGov, young Americans are likely to be particularly affected by rules like the one passed in Fort Lee. 18-29 year olds are much more likely to text and walk, with a majority (85%) doing so at least occasionally, while a majority of those 45-64 (58%), never do so.

More than a quarter (27%) of young people have even bumped into things – or people – because they are texting, or playing on their phone, while moving around.

It may come as less of a surprise, then, that a majority of those aged 18-29 have also missed something a friend or family member has said to them because they were texting. As people get older these numbers diminish substantially. 41% of those over 65 chose "not applicable", suggesting that they do not text at all.

That many young adults have bumped into something or someone while using their phone may help explain why so many states have banned drivers from texting. These laws receive overwhelming support: 86% of Americans – including a majority of Americans in every age group – favor a ban on texting while driving.

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: Getty.

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