Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Almost one in three pedestrians 'distracted' by mobile devices while crossing street; Texting most dangerous distraction

Date:
December 12, 2012
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Almost one in three pedestrians is distracted by mobile devices while crossing busy road junctions, an observational study finds.

Almost one in three pedestrians is distracted by mobile devices while crossing busy road junctions, finds an observational study published online in Injury Prevention.

Texting while crossing the road is the most distracting, and potentially most dangerous, activity, prompting the authors to suggest that a low tolerance approach similar to that taken towards drink-driving might be needed.

They base their findings on the behaviour of more than 1000 pedestrians crossing 20 busy road junctions in the north western city of Seattle during the summer of 2012 at different times of the day.

The observers recorded "distracting" activities, including talking on the phone, text messaging, or listening to music on mobile devices, as well as talking to others or dealing with children or pets.

Nearly half of the observations were made in the morning rush-hour between 8 and 9 am, and just over half of those observed were aged between 25 and 44.

Most (80%) were alone, and most (80%) obeyed the lights and crossed at the appropriate point (94%). However, only one in four pedestrians followed the full safety routine, including looking both ways before crossing.

And almost one in three (just under 30%) of the 1102 pedestrians were doing something else when they crossed the road. Around one in 10 (11%) were listening to music; 7% were texting; and 6% were talking on the phone.

Those who were distracted took significantly longer to cross the road -- 0.75 to1.29 seconds longer. While listening to music speeded up the time taken to cross the road, those doing it were less likely to look both ways before doing so.

People distracted by pets or children were almost three times as likely not to look both ways. But texting was potentially the most risky behaviour, the observations indicated.

Texters took almost two seconds (18%) longer to cross the average junction of three to four lanes than those who weren't texting at the time.

And they were also almost four times more likely to ignore lights, to cross at the middle of the junction, or fail to look both ways before stepping off the kerb.

The authors point out that crashes involving vehicles and pedestrians injure 60,000 people and kill 4000 every year in the USA, and just like distracted driving, distracted walking is potentially dangerous. It's also likely to increase as hand held mobile devices become ever more popular, they suggest.

"Individuals may feel they have 'safer use' than others, view commuting as 'down time,' or have compulsive behaviours around mobile device use," write the authors.

But the experimental evidence indicates that distractions impair awareness of surroundings, they say.

And they conclude: "Ultimately a shift in normative attitudes about pedestrian behaviour, similar to efforts around drunk-driving, will be important to limit the…risk of mobile device use."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Leah L Thompson, Frederick P Rivara, Rajiv C Ayyagari, Beth E Ebel. Impact of social and technological distraction on pedestrian crossing behaviour: an observational study. Injury Prevention, 2012; DOI: 10.1136/injuryprev-2012-040601

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Almost one in three pedestrians 'distracted' by mobile devices while crossing street; Texting most dangerous distraction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121212205725.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2012, December 12). Almost one in three pedestrians 'distracted' by mobile devices while crossing street; Texting most dangerous distraction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121212205725.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Almost one in three pedestrians 'distracted' by mobile devices while crossing street; Texting most dangerous distraction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121212205725.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Airlines Swanky New Plane

China Airlines Swanky New Plane

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) China Airlines debuted their new Boeing 777, and it's more like a swanky hotel bar than an airplane. Enjoy high-tea, a coffee bar, and a full service bar with cocktails and spirits, and lie-flat in your reclining seats. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
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


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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