Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Walking hazard: Cell-phone use -- but not music -- reduces pedestrian safety

Date:
November 18, 2009
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Two new studies of pedestrian safety found that using a cell phone while hoofing it can endanger one's health. The studies, in which participants crossed a virtual street while talking on the phone or listening to music, found that the music-listeners were able to navigate traffic as well as the average unencumbered pedestrian. Users of hands-free cell phones, however, took longer to cross the same street under the same conditions and were more likely to get run over.

Man on cell phone in downtown San Diego. Two new studies of pedestrian safety found that using a cell phone while walking can endanger one's health.
Credit: iStockphoto/Skip ODonnell

Two new studies of pedestrian safety found that using a cell phone while hoofing it can endanger one's health. Older pedestrians, in particular, are impaired when crossing a busy (simulated) street while speaking on a mobile phone, the researchers found.

Related Articles


The studies, in which participants crossed a virtual street while talking on the phone or listening to music, found that the music-listeners were able to navigate traffic as well as the average unencumbered pedestrian. Users of hands-free cell phones, however, took longer to cross the same street under the same conditions and were more likely to get run over.

Older cell-phone users, especially those unsteady on their feet to begin with, were even more likely to become traffic casualties.

"Many people assume that walking is so automatic that really nothing will get in the way," said University of Illinois psychology professor Art Kramer, who led the research with psychology professor Jason McCarley and postdoctoral researcher Mark Neider. "And walking is pretty automatic, but actually walking in environments that have lots of obstacles is perhaps not as automatic as one might think."

The first study, in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, found that college-age adults who were talking on a cell phone took 25 percent longer to cross the street than their peers who were not on the phone. They were also more likely to fail to cross the street in the 30 seconds allotted for the task, even though their peers were able to do so.

Each participant walked on a manual treadmill in a virtual environment, meaning that each encountered the exact same conditions -- the same number and speed of cars, for example -- as their peers.

The second (and not yet published) study gave adults age 60 and above the same tasks, and included some participants who had a history of falling. The differences between those on and off the phone were even more striking in the older group, Kramer said.

"Older adults on the phone got run over about 15 percent more often" than those not on the phone, he said, and those with a history of falling fared even worse.

"So walking and talking on the phone while old, especially, appears to be dangerous," he said.

Kramer is a researcher at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Walking hazard: Cell-phone use -- but not music -- reduces pedestrian safety." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091116114532.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2009, November 18). Walking hazard: Cell-phone use -- but not music -- reduces pedestrian safety. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091116114532.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Walking hazard: Cell-phone use -- but not music -- reduces pedestrian safety." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091116114532.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Brand Blocker' Glasses Blur Ads in Real Time

'Brand Blocker' Glasses Blur Ads in Real Time

Buzz60 (Jan. 28, 2015) A team of college students design and build a pair of goggles that will obscure any corporate branding from your field of vision. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing's Profit Soars

Boeing's Profit Soars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) Boeing delivered more commercial planes, especially 737s and 787s, fueling profit. But it issued a mixed outlook. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Moscow Exhibition Showcases Gulag Letters

Moscow Exhibition Showcases Gulag Letters

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Written on cigarette packs or scraps of newspaper, embroidered with a fishbone on shreds of cloth or scratched on birch bark, clandestine letters from the Soviet Gulag were composed by any means prisoners had. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google High-Speed Service Coming to 4 Cities

Google High-Speed Service Coming to 4 Cities

AP (Jan. 28, 2015) Google is expanding its fiber-optic high-speed internet service to four cities in the Southeastern US. The company selected Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh and Nashville and their surrounding communities. (Jan. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins