SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Korea Bizwire) – A new study has found people suffering from smartphone addiction are almost twice as likely to suffer from an accident.
The study conducted by a research team led by Professor Min Gyeong-bok at Seoul National University College of Medicine has revealed that nearly 4 in 10 university students in South Korea are addicted to their smartphones.
Nearly 28 percent of the students addicted to smartphones said they have experienced accidents caused by safety negligence, which is 11.3 percent higher than the figure among students who haven’t developed smartphone addiction.
The research team arrived at its findings after asking 608 university students in last August and September about the effect of smartphones on their personal life.
When broken down in detail, those addicted to smartphones were nearly twice more likely to fall, slip, or bump into others in public, sending warnings signs about the serious threat to personal safety posed by smartphone addiction.
In the subway, people with smartphone addiction were more likely to get stuck between doors than their non-addicted counterparts due to a lack of awareness of their surroundings.
Smartphone addiction was also linked to more casual types of safety negligence such as being cut or stung.
On a more serious note, those with smartphone addiction were almost three times more likely to be hit by a car, showing a similar trend with other types of accidents.
Against this background, terms like ‘smobie’ have been coined to refer to smartphone users who are so immersed in their mobile devices that they forget to mind the people around them.
“When other factors regarding safety negligence such as gender, location, and age are taken into consideration, those addicted to smartphones are thought to be approximately 1.9 times more likely to have an accident than regular people,” Professor Min said.
“As around 90 percent of the South Korean pubic now uses a smartphone, policy measures need to be introduced to prevent accidents,” he added.
According to data from the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the Korea Transportation Safety Authority (TS) from last year, the number of accidents involving smartphone use among pedestrians nearly doubled from 2011 to 2015.
The findings were published in the latest edition of Journal of Behavior Addiction.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)