Study of Distracted Pedestrians' Behavior when using Crosswalks
Harrison, Dean Patrick
Bullington, Stanley F.
CommitteeBurch, Reuben F., V
The dangers of using a cell phone while driving are well documented, but recently studies have aimed at determining the effect cell phones have on a pedestrians’ walking behaviors. This observational experiment captured video footage of distracted pedestrians, or pedestrians using cell phones, when using two different crosswalks (midblock and intersection) on the campus of Mississippi State University in order to study safety behaviors, such as speed, number of looks, and wait time. Two types of crosswalks were filmed until a sufficient number of pedestrians (N=982) were recorded. All variables (cell phone use, gender, type of crosswalk, presence of car, time of day, and density) significantly influenced speed and number of looks. Gender, type of crosswalk and presence of car all showed significant effects on wait time of pedestrians. Pedestrians observed using earphones were observed to look more and to walk slower than any other level of cell phone use.