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Do you look at your mobile phone while walking?

Do you look at your mobile phone while walking?

Seeing people with their heads bowed and their thumbs scrolling anywhere and everywhere has become a normal view in our world. And let’s admit it, we’re certainly guilty of it as we have all done it at least once!

We can see it every day on our streets, people bumping into others or into obstacles and traffic and the lack of spacial awareness are some of the main dangers of interacting with your smartphone while walking.

On May 29th 2018, YouGov.co.uk asked 5458 people of different ages and locations within UK: “Do you look at your mobile phone while walking?”

While some of the results were predictable (more than 35% of millennials “Often or Sometimes” use their phones while walking), other results revealed some interesting insights. Londoners are more inclined to “sometimes” use their phones while walking (36%) however, “Rarely” won the polls in the rest of the country.

Of course, after finding the data, I couldn’t resist myself and started brainstorming visualisation ideas with my I FOR IDEAS team and we came up with this viz:

Texting is killing us

The number of pedestrian deaths and injuries has risen dramatically as a result of texting while walking and while the known dangers of texting while driving have been the focus of nationwide public service announcements, now the dangers of distracted walking are coming to the forefront.

Almost equally, both Male and Female mobile phone users in the UK now text or intently perform some other function on their phone, while walking. An average of 3 in 10 pedestrians answered that “sometimes” they use their smartphones while walking.

Telling the truth

Working in the City of London, I can see people almost all the time with their eyes glued to the digital screen and yet, the results by YouGov.co.uk do not seem as high as I would have thought. Perhaps, it has become such a normal view that we don’t even realise it is happening.

In all fairness, had I been asked the question, my response would have been “Sometimes” as I am totally conscious of the dangers but must admit that sometimes I can’t resist the temptation of checking a message and replying when the phone beeps.

So, here’s the question again … dare to answer?

Do you look at your mobile phone while walking?

Select one of the following answers:

Your answers so far … thanks!

  • Often 28.6%
  • Sometimes 35.7%
  • Rarely 28.6%
  • Never 7.1%
  • I don’t have a mobile phone 0%
  • Don’t know 0%

About The Author

Pablo Gomez

Originally from Argentina, Pablo co-founded I FOR IDEAS, a Branding and Marketing company specialised on graphic design and digital content. After working in data analysis and reporting for over a decade, he was introduced to Tableau in early 2013. Always fascinated by Data and Graphic Design, Tableau was the perfect platform to combine both of his passions.