As we head towards the end of summer, pedestrians walking along Atlanta roads must remember to focus on the task of walking and avoid distractions from their cell phones and other devices to avoid car accidents. Unfortunately, too often pedestrians are seen walking across a street while looking at their cell phones or texting. This type of conduct prevents them from being alert to cars entering their paths, even when the pedestrian has the right of way.
A new study in Australia finds that texting on a cell phone while walking significantly increases a person’s risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident. The researchers divided college students into 3 groups. The first group was asked to text while sitting, while the other group was asked to walk without texting. The third group was made to text while walking on a pathway that was specifically designed for the experiment with tiles that were out of place. Not surprisingly, the researchers found that the group of persons who were texting while walking had their focus impacted by their distraction.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that close to 10% of auto accidents in the United States every year are directly linked to motorists using cell phones while driving. Other studies have found plenty of evidence that distractions also seem to place pedestrians at risk of pedestrian accidents. If you are walking while talking on your cell phone, or listening to music on your headphones, you are less likely to identify an approaching car or spot any other kind of safety cues.