Last year, The New York Times reported that emergency room visits for pedestrians distracted by a phone or iPod have doubled each year from 2006 to 2008.
A recent study led by Despina Stavrinos of the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that phone conversations distracted walkers “considerably,” according to The Atlantic Cities. However, another study led by Esther Walker of UC-San Diego recently observed pedestrians crossing the street on a college campus in Canada. Their research found that music players had no impact on a pedestrian’s ability to cross the street.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians:
- Turn off handheld devices, mp3 players, etc. when crossing the street or walking in busy areas.
- Cross at intersections or midblock crosswalks.
- Obey Walk/Don’t Walk signals where provided, and otherwise cross with the green light. A flashing Don’t Walk signal indicates that it is too late to begin crossing, but that if already in the crosswalk, you should continue walking to the other side.
- Give drivers plenty of time to stop before entering a crosswalk.
- Don’t assume that you are visible to drivers, or that drivers will follow the rules of the road.