With the number of games, activities and connectivity that our phones bring with us these days, it is not uncommon to see people outside playing with their phones during their meals, when hanging out with friends, and even while walking, and a recent study by Injury Prevention has suggested that the latter activity is potentially fatal and has resulted in some of the 4,000 pedestrian fatalities that occur on an annual basis. According to their study of 1,102 pedestrians, Injury Prevention noted:
Nearly one-third (29.8%) of all pedestrians performed a distracting activity while crossing. Distractions included listening to music (11.2%), text messaging (7.3%) and using a handheld phone (6.2%). Text messaging, mobile phone use and talking with a companion increased crossing time. Texting pedestrians took 1.87 additional seconds (18.0%) to cross the average intersection (3.4 lanes), compared to undistracted pedestrians. Texting pedestrians were 3.9 times more likely than undistracted pedestrians to display at least 1 unsafe crossing behaviour (disobeying the lights, crossing mid-intersection, or failing to look both ways). Pedestrians listening to music walked more than half a second (0.54) faster across the average intersection than undistracted pedestrians.
We’re not sure what they mean by distracted while listening to music – it is possible that we can keep our eyes ahead of us while walking and listening to music, unless of course they are referring to those who are too engrossed in the music to be aware of their surroundings, such as cars horning at them, people yelling at them to stop and so on. Pretty interesting study, what do you guys think? Are you guilty of being distracted while walking and texting?