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1 in 3 distracted by phone when crossing busy streets

Posted by: Colleen Stoxen Updated: April 15, 2013 - 5:30 PM

Researchers at University of Washington's Injury Prevention Center observed 1,102 people crossing the street at 20 high-risk intersections. They found that nearly one third, 29.8 percent, of all pedestrians "performed a distracting activity while crossing."

Here's how it broke down:

  • 6.2 percent used a phone
  • 11.2 percent listened to music
  • 7.3 percent texted

People texting took 18 percent more time than undistracted people to cross. The texting people were also almost four times more likely to disobey signals or to not look both ways.

Texting pedestrians were 3.9 times more likely than undistracted pedestrians to display at least one unsafe crossing behaviour (disobeying the lights, crossing mid-intersection, or failing to look both ways).

Researchers said the findings suggest the need for intervention studies to reduce the risk of pedestrian injury.

Read the study at Injury Prevention.

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