Over 1500 injuries caused by cell phone distractions while walking

<font size="2">more than 1,500 pedestrians were estimated to be treated in emergency rooms for injuires related to using a cell phone while walking</font>

COLUMBIA (WACH) â?? It's a sign of the times everywhere people are communicating on the go.

A new study from Ohio State University shows those constant conversations could have you catching a ride to the emergency room.

"You're completely detached from the here and now, if you're walking around while texting you're basically somewhere else," said Dr. Amit Almor.

Dr. Almor is a professor of psychology at USC.

He's studied the effects of talking on the phone while driving and argues texting while walking is more dangerous.

He points out to maintain that conversation your brain constructs a virtual world so that you can make sense of it all.

"You're totally in that imaginary universe of that conversation that you're having through texting and that takes you from the hear and now and basically exposes you to any sort of danger," adds Almor.

According to a distracted walking study more than 1,500 hundred people visited the ER because of using a cell phone while walking.

The injuries included a teenager falling off a eight foot bridge and a man hit by a car while walking down the middle line of a road on his phone.

"You pass people and you don't even like see your friends walking down the sidewalk and stuff because you're thinking about the person you're texting and talking to instead,: Said USC student Linde Weissenberger.

"It happens every day, walk across the street not noticing what they're doing texting of course... It's kind of a dangerous situation," adds Matt Garibaldi.

Dr. Almor says if you take a stroll through campus you'll see texters everywhere and with no cars you'll you see all sorts of strange things happening.

"We don't have any good reason to think we need to lift our eyes as we do for example as when we drive and so we're totally disappearing from the here and now," concludes Almor.

Researchers believe the injuries to distracted walkers could double in the next five years.

The study also found that young people aged 16-25 were most likely to be injured as distracted pedestrians, and were more hurt while talking rather than texting.

Researchers used data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which samples injury reports from 100 hospitals around the country. Data was examined for seven years.

The 21-to-25 age group is most likely to be injured by distracted walking. 16 to 20-years-old age had 985 injuries by distracted walking.

Talking on the phone accounted for about 69 percent of injuries, texting while walking accounted for about 9 percent.