Cost–benefit analysis of a distracted pedestrian intervention

This article reports on a cost-benefit analysis of a smartphone app designed to alert pedestrians about their distracted behavior, particularly at intersections. The study focused on StreetBit, an app that sends warnings from intersection-installed Bluetooth beacons to distracted pedestrians’ smartphones. The authors chose to conduct the study in the U.S. state of Alabama, which is ranked as the second most dangers state for walkers on the streets. The study used three data sources: fatal, severe, and non-severe pedestrian injury rates from Alabama’s electronic crash reporting system; (2) expected costs per fatal, severe, and non-severe pedestrian injury (including medical costs, value of statistical life, work-loss costs, quality-of-life costs); and prevalence of distracted walking from extant literature. The authors estimated the monetary costs of distracted walking in Alabama and the possible monetary benefits from implementing StreetBit. In 2019–2021, Alabama recorded an annual average of 31 fatal, 83 severe and 115 non-severe pedestrian injuries in intersections. The estimated distracted walking prevalence is 25%–40% of pedestrians, and StreetBit use showed a 19.1% reduction. The authors contend that this represents a potential annual cost savings ranging from US$18.1 million to US$29 million. They also discuss the costs for installing the StreetBit beacons and the need for near-universal adoption of the app in order to realize the most benefit.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 62-67
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01876082
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 21 2023 9:22AM