Forget bike lanes -- cell phone lanes are the next big thing. There's now a sidewalk lane in Chongqing, China that's specifically for people who want to text and walk at the same time.
"Cellphones, walk in this lane at your own risk" reads one lane. The neighboring one says, "No cellphones."
Look, we get it. Nobody wants to be stuck behind a slow walker who's typing what must be an 80-page thesis into their phone. And we're all guilty of running into the occasional street pole after getting sucked into an intense texting convo.
Our habits can be dangerous, though. We all know that texting while driving is a big no-no -- but distracted walking causes more injuries per mile than distracted driving does, according to ScienceDaily. Of course, texting-while-walking injuries aren't as severe as texting-while-driving ones are.
Using your phone and walking at the same time throws off your balance, so it's no surprise you'll bump into anything and everything if you're not watching where you're going. This can lead to some pretty dangerous consequences, as was the case with this guy who was preoccupied by his phone and straight-up fell onto subway tracks after walking right off the platform.
Last July National Geographic set up similar sidewalk lanes in Washington, D.C. -- one for cell phone users and one for non-phone users, as in Chongqing. The temporary set-up was for the National Geographic show "Mind Over Masses," a series about behavioral science experiments.
"Many people actually using their phones did not notice the [sidewalk] markings at all," reports Yahoo on the experiment. "Of course they wouldn’t: They were staring, oblivious and glassy-eyed, at the screens of their mobile devices."
Philadelphia is another city that's tackling the issue of distracted walking. Way back in 2012 they created temporary "e-lanes" -- sidewalk lanes for music listeners and phone users -- as part of an April Fool's joke. The real message behind the prank was to help people realize just how much of their attention is diverted when they're on the phone.
So in short, pay attention to your surroundings while you're texting (and SnapChatting and Instagramming...) your life away. Otherwise you may end up like this unfortunate lady: