Texting and walking: a controlled field study of crossing behaviours and inattentional blindness in Taiwan

In Taiwan, concern is rising about the safety issues associated with pedestrians walking and using their smartphones at the same time. This study used video cameras to observe pedestrians' crossing behaviors, including crossing time, sudden stops, looking both ways before crossing, and disobeying traffic signals, while talking, texting, and/or listening to music on their phones. Inattentional blindness was evaluated based on whether pedestrians saw and heard a nearby clown who honked a horn. The results show that unsafe crossing behaviors were higher among distracted pedestrians, compared to the control group. Participants using a text-messaging app were least likely to see the clown, and those listening to music were least likely to hear the clown's horn. The primary factors contributing to unsafe crossing behaviors were: being a student, having a phone screen of 5 inches or larger, and having unlimited 3G Internet access. The use of text-messaging apps increased inattentional blindness, crossing time, and unsafe crossing behaviors while reducing head-turning frequency before crossing the road. It is possible that educating the public about dangers from mobile phone-related distracted behaviors will reduce potential safety concerns.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01683519
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 17 2018 11:12AM