Walking on the Wild Side: Distracted Pedestrians and Traffic Safety

Every time a driver is distracted, including by their cellphone, the risk of a traffic crash increases. And almost every driver owns a cellphone — 95 percent of American adults owned one in 2016, with 77 percent owning a smartphone. An analysis of 33 studies showed that cellphone use slows mean reaction time by 0.25 seconds, enough time to make a distracted driver extremely dangerous for others on the road. But do cellphones make walking more dangerous as well? Distracted drivers clearly endanger pedestrians, but the impact of distracted pedestrians on traffic safety has not been extensively studied. A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that “a very limited number of studies have investigated the effect of electronic device use by pedestrians” and that “there is a need to conduct naturalistic observations of the effect of electronic device use on pedestrian distraction and safety.” The issue is in the public eye, after cities including Honolulu, Rexburg, Idaho, and Montclair, California, passed legislation to fine any pedestrian using


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01744471
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: UC Berkeley Transportation Library
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 2 2020 1:29PM