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Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
Distracted pedestrians, those talking or texting on phones as examples, are potentially at risk when crossing urban intersections. They may lack traffic awareness of risk as distracted drivers often do. The transportation field has limited data on distracted pedestrians. This study aimed to contribute to the literature by observing pedestrian behaviors at four urban-area, downtown crosswalks over five weeks in June-July 2021. Overall, 2,055 pedestrians were observed, with 25.4% being distracted. Common distractions were texting, talking on a cell phone, and using headphones. Chi-square analyses found that while distraction did not predict looking left, one behavior that keeps them out of harm’s way in the United States, women who were distracted looked left less often than men, an atypical gender difference in the traffic safety literature. These and other results are discussed in terms of the next steps for increasing pedestrian safety.
Distractracted Pedestrians, Looking Left, Crosswalks, Unsafe Behavior
Community-Based Research | Community Psychology | Experimental Analysis of Behavior | Health Psychology | Other Psychology | Social Psychology and Interaction | Tourism
Hood, Emma and Porter, Bryan E., "Distracted Pedestrians: Looking Left?" (2021). Psychology: Interdisciplinary Research in Behavioral Sciences of Transportation Issues [REU poster]. 8.
Community-Based Research Commons, Community Psychology Commons, Experimental Analysis of Behavior Commons, Health Psychology Commons, Other Psychology Commons, Social Psychology and Interaction Commons, Tourism Commons