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London - It has become a part of everyday life but texting is also making pedestrians more likely to be knocked over.

Those texting while crossing the road were four times more likely to ignore oncoming traffic and disobey the lights, say researchers who watched 1,100 people at 20 busy road junctions in the US city of Seattle.

Thirty percent were doing something else when they crossed the road, such as talking on the phone, texting, listening to music on mobiles, as well as talking to others or dealing with children or a pet, says a report in the journal Injury Prevention.

Texting was found to be the most risky behaviour, as people doing so took almost two seconds (18 percent) longer to cross the average junction of three to four lanes.

Texters were also almost four times more likely to ignore lights, to cross at the middle of the junction, or fail to look both ways.

Study leader Dr Beth Ebel, of the University of Washington, said: “Texters were four times less likely to cross the road safely. They took a constellation of risks that put people at high risk of being seriously injured.” - Daily Mail