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People Who Text While Walking Develop Protective Shuffle

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Someone walking down the street with eyes and thumbs fixed on a smartphone does look a lot like an accident waiting to happen. But a new study finds that text-walkers have developed a protective shuffle, going 25 percent slower than the flow and high-stepping over curbs. Researchers call it adopting a protective gait pattern. Though one city in Belgium is offering a different form of protection - special lanes just for text-walkers. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.