Katie Couric's Notebook: Mobile Distractions

Mom said it over and over when you were a kid: "Look both ways before crossing the street." Today, she'd also tell you to put away your cell phone.

It isn't just drivers who get distracted. More and more pedestrians are tripping over curbs, walking into telephone poles, or stepping in front of oncoming cars... because they were busy talking or texting and not paying attention.

An Ohio State University study found the number of walkers who ended up in the emergency room because they were distracted by cell phones quadrupled in just two years. Teenagers seemed to have the most trouble. A quarter of those patients were between the ages 16 and 20. Other researchers found people on phones walk more slowly...taking 25 percent longer to cross the street.

Multi-tasking on the go is the new "walking and chewing gum." But just like drivers, walkers need to keep both eyes on the road or the sidewalk.

You can text that message...when you're standing still.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.