When distracted road users cross paths

  • Published: USA Department for Transportation, 2011
  • Authors: R. Brumfield and S. Pulugurtha (Federal Highway Administration)
  • Date Added: 02 Feb 2013
  • Last Update: 02 Feb 2013
  • Format: html

Objectives:

To investigate distractions and attentive behaviour amongst pedestrians and drivers.

Methodology:

Observational study of a number of crosswalk locations on the UNC Charlotte campus.

Key Findings:

  • 21.3 per cent of manoeuvres resulted in conflicts when the pedestrian displayed attentive behaviour and 16.8 per cent resulted in conflicts when the pedestrian displayed visibly distracted behaviour.

  • This may be partially explained by observations that 57.4 per cent of drivers yielded to the attentive pedestrians and 80 per cent yielded to the visibly distracted pedestrians.

Themes:

Distractions, inattention, mobile phone use, conflicts

Comments:

The size of the sample studied is not disclosed, and the location has 20 mph speed limits so results are not likely to be scalable. However, they give a useful indication of the nature of inattentive behaviour, particularly that drivers may be more likely to yield to a visibly distracted pedestrian.

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