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Growing Danger: Texting While -- Walking

The potential danger in texting-while-driving is becoming more widely known. Four states have banned it.

But less well-known is the risk inherent in texting-while -- walking -- especially while crossing streets.

There's no legislation banning "text-walking" yet, according to CBS News correspondent Bianca Solorzano, but the Illinois General Assembly is considering a bill that would outlaw using wireless devices in crosswalks.

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) warns that being distracted by text messaging at inappropriate times -- such as while crossing streets -- can result in serious injury or even death. Teens and young adults, in particular, are considered most at risk, since they're such heavy users of modern technology.

On The Early Show Tuesday, Dr. Gerry Brogan, president of the New York chapter of the ACEP, told co-anchor Julie Chen, "You might think text messaging while driving is the most dangerous. We're actually seeing more injuries texting-while-walking, jogging, or rollerblading. Most are minor, facial abrasions, lacerations, twisted ankles, but there have actually been people have who have died texting walking in to traffic."

Grogan pointed out texting-while-walking entails "losing your visual focus, your concentration. And it's something where it is a real danger. I think people need to be aware of how dangerous it is."

In addition, says Grogan, "Even once you text somebody, when you get a response, your immediate reflex is to look down and to grab your phone to respond back. No one would walk down the street with their eyes closed, but essentially, when you're texting, that's what you're doing."