Recent studies have highlighted the idea that texting isn’t only a dangerous distraction for drivers, pedestrians can be in great danger as well. Researchers from the University of Washington observed more than 1,100 pedestrians at 20 different intersections in Seattle and found almost one-third of all subjects being distracted.
Commonly found distractions for pedestrians included emailing via smartphones, talking to a friend, and listening to music. The study found that pedestrians who were texting while walking averaged an extra two seconds to cross an intersection when compared to those who were not using any electronic devices. Those who were distracted in some manner were four times more likely to disobey traffic lights, not look both ways when crossing a street, and veer off the crosswalk.
While the study could not directly link the behaviors to injury risks, researchers correlated risky behaviors by pedestrians to an injury risk increase by eight times when compared to legal street crossings.
Every year, collisions between vehicles and pedestrians result in 60,000 injuries across the nation and 4,000 deaths. Even a collision at a low speed between a vehicle and a pedestrian can result in devastating injuries as pedestrians have no form of protection from the direct impact of a car.