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Surfing Internet, Crossing Street Will Likely Lead to Wipeout

  • December 06, 2012
University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) research, published online in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention, has found that college students crossing the street while surfing the Internet on a cell phone are more than twice as likely to be hit or have a close call as when they crossed the street undistracted.
internet_pedestrians_sUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) research, published online in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention, has found that college students crossing the street while surfing the Internet on a cell phone are more than twice as likely to be hit or have a close call as when they crossed the street undistracted.

The research, co-authored by Katherine Byington, Ph.D., and David Schwebel, Ph.D., associate dean in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences, also reveals that the students looked away from the street for an average of 36 seconds of every minute they waited to cross while distracted, but they looked away for less than one second with no distractions.

“Even though the participants waited longer to cross while distracted, giving them more time to decide on a safe crossing gap, the longer wait did not increase their likelihood of crossing safely,” said Byington.