Pedestrian Distraction & Crosswalk Safety

Crosswalk SafetyRecent research has explored the phenomenon of distraction and traffic safety. In particular, the largest focus has been on driving, such as talking on a cell phone (Nabatilan et al., 2011), that can lead to unsafe distraction. However, dangerous distractions are not limited to driving; pedestrians are also affected.

The recent development of research exploring the relationship between distracted walking and pedestrian safety has shown that when individuals engage in distracting behavior, such as texting (Schwebel et al., 2012; Hyman et al., 2009), talking on the phone (Schwebel et al., 2012; Stavrinos & Byington; 2011; Hyman et al., 2009), having a conversation next to someone (Hyman et al., 2009), listening to music through headphones (Schwebel et al., 2012; Hyman et al., 2009), or use of mechanical vehicles such as bicycles (Wilbur & Schroeder, 2014); they are more likely to be less aware of their surroundings (Hyman et al., 2009) and possibly injure themselves (Naser & Troyer, 2013).

Even though individuals have been proven to be less likely to be aware of their surroundings while distracted, individuals often overestimate their multi-tasking ability for distracted walking (Schwebel et al., 2012). In our proposed study, we intend to expand these findings towards pedestrian activity in a crosswalk through both surveying individual beliefs on their behaviors in a crosswalk and observation of individual behaviors in a crosswalk. This presentation will be a review on the literature already found on pedestrian safety, followed by the methodology and planned analyses for this study.

Authors: Emily Diana & Megan Brown

1 thought on “Pedestrian Distraction & Crosswalk Safety

  1. Rosie Beckett

    Pedestrian is extremely important to me and in my opinion, a crosswalk system is a way to keep people safe. It is interesting that you say there is a relationship between distracted walking and pedestrian safety because people often text or listen to music when they are walking. This makes them less aware of their surroundings and I appreciate that you say it is important to avoid multi-tasking when walking, especially across the street.


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