Smartphones cause quarter of Scots pedestrians to have accidents


ONE in four Scots has admitted walking into someone or something because they were looking at their smartphone.

Texting and use of the messaging service WhatsApp have been named as the main causes of distraction in new research by the National Accident Helpline.

The new data, released to mark the UK’s second accident awareness week, also reveals that almost half of Scots admit to putting themselves in danger whilst walking or driving.

Scots also believe that the rise of smartphones has had an impact on their attention spans with many believing they are more easily distracted as an adult because of their phones.

One in four Scots admit to walking into someone because they've been on their phones
One in four Scots admit to walking into someone because they’ve been on their phones

The National Accident Helpline survey asked 2,047 UK adults about their smartphone habits earlier this month, including 163 Scots.

The study showed that 48% of the Scottish adults surveyed admit to putting themselves into unnecessary danger because they have been distracted by their smartphone whilst driving or walking.

25% of Scots admit to walking into things because their eyes have been glued to their phone, yet only 10% of those asked admit that their smartphone has made them less careful on the streets.

The survey also shows that technology is having an adverse effect on adults’ attention spans, with one in seven (14%) Scots feeling they are more easily distracted now than they were as a child.

One in six people in Scotland (17%) also feel they are less “street wise” than they used to be due to their use of technology whilst out and about.

The top offenders whilst people are outside are texting and Whatsapp, whilst making a phone call and using a maps service come in at second and third in the top ten list of tech distractions.

Social media, emailing and taking photos are next in the list, followed by checking work updates, listening to music, playing games and online shopping complete the top ten.

Beth Powell, Marketing Director for National Accident Helpline, said: “We can all relate to the daily distractions of technology, whether it’s taking a call when crossing the road, or bumping into a lamppost while checking our Facebook feed.

“However, it’s important to remember that pedestrians, like motorists, have a duty to take proper care and pay attention to their surroundings.

“Whilst most accidents caused by common distractions are relatively minor, we hear from many people who have experienced serious accidents which have had a devastating impact on their lives.”