Understanding of Safety Impact and Potential Causes of Distracted Walking and Biking
Florida has experienced serious problems related to pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. A significant number of pedestrian s and bicyclists have been observed wearing headphones or headsets or using mobile devices in busy urban intersections or public transportation transfer areas. Distracted walking and biking pose a direct danger to pedestrian and bicycle safety. To develop countermeasures to alleviate the safety problems of distracted walking and biking, it is necessary to understand the safety impact s and potential causes of distracted walking and biking, especially for young populations. This study reviewed the literature to assess the safety impacts of distracted walking and biking and collected and analyzed Florida statewide observational pedestrian and bicyclist behavioral data to understand the severity and demographics of pedestrian and bicyclist distraction problems. Specific field observational survey s of pedestrians and bicyclists were conducted on a university campus to understand the potential causes of distractions for young pedestrians and bicyclists. The major findings from the literature review show that injuries soar for pedestrians using mobile devices. The use of mobile device s is not only dangerous for drivers, but also for young people ages 16–25, who are more likely to be injured as distracted pedestrians. The major findings from the statewide field observational survey s of pedestrians and bicyclists in Florida show that 20 percent of all those observed were distracted. The findings also indicate that young people have much higher distraction rates (25– 26%). The major findings from the field observational survey s of pedestrians and bicyclists on the University of South Florida Tampa campus indicates that 24 percent of those observed were distracted when they crossed alone and 49 percent were distracted when they crossed in a group. Headphone use and talking on mobile devices were predominant causes of distraction for people crossing alone. Talking to others was the major cause of distraction for people crossing in a group. The findings from this study can help in the development of appropriate countermeasures to effectively alleviate the traffic safety problems caused by distracted walking and bicycling, especially for young populations.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
International Chinese Transportation Professionals Association (ICTPA) 28th Conference. Los Angeles, CA, May 2015, 8 p.
Scholar Commons Citation
Lin, Pei-Sung; Kourtellis, Achilleas; and Zhang, Yu, "Understanding of Safety Impact and Potential Causes of Distracted Walking and Biking" (2015). CUTR Faculty and Staff Publications. 89.