Study finds a third of pedestrians are distracted by their phones

You see it all the time. Pedestrians, shuffling along, not paying much attention, too busy talking, texting or reading on a smartphone.

Now researchers at the University of British Columbia are putting a number on just how bad this problem is.

They set up cameras to watch a busy intersection in Kamloops B.C. and found more than a third of pedestrians were distracted as they crossed the street.

They found those people took longer to cross the road and had a hard time maintaining their speed, potentially putting themselves at risk.

It was worse for those who were reading or texting than it was for talkers.

The researchers hope to use these findings to help self driving cars recognize distracted pedestrians and predict what they might do.