I have to wonder how this one snuck past the ethics committee. From the Proceedings of ACM’s Conference on Human Factors In Computing Systems comes a study that asks and answers: Do We Bump Into Things More While Speaking On A Cell Phone?
We observed more than 8,800 cases of people passing by an obstacle that was placed at different heights at the entrance to a university cafeteria. […] Overall, 2,422 bumping cases were recorded. Using a cell phone while walking did not increase the risk of bumping into protruding obstacles. The results suggest that the effective visual field of people […] is not degraded by speaking on a cell phone.
I think we could be looking at an Ig Nobel Prize winner here.