Maryland Pedestrian Accidents:
Dangers of Texting and Mobile Phone Use

September 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

A new study suggests that using your iPhone, Droid or other mobile phone to listen to music or send out text messages while crossing the street may increase the risk of getting hit by a car and suffering a serious injury from a Maryland pedestrian accident.

In a study published online in the August edition of the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, researchers found that pedestrians using mobile devices tend to distract them from their surroundings, making them 2 to 5 times more likely to get hit while crossing the street.

Most surprising to researchers was the fact that listening to music was the most distracting activity while crossing the street, with those listening to portable music devices having a 33 percent risk of getting hit by a car when crossing a two-lane road. Talking on the cell phone while crossing the street resulted in a 12% chance of being hit, and there was a 25% chance of being run over for pedestrians who texted while crossing the street. There was only a 6% chance of being struck by a car for those who were not using any electronic devices.

The study was conducted by the Youth Safety Laboratory at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in a virtual environment lab using 125 college students. Researchers said the outcomes showed a stark difference from what caused drivers to be most distracted. Listening to music isn’t considered a major distraction when behind the wheel, but apparently pedestrians rely far more heavily on their ears when crossing the street, they said.

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