Does the Use of Cell Phones and Headphones at the Signalised Pedestrian Crossings Increase the Risk of Accident?

Joanna Wachnicka, Karol Kulesza

Abstract


Reduction of the number of fatalities among pedestrians remains a topical issue in Poland. For many years, this percentage has remained at around 30% of all those who were killed on the road. At the same time, there is an increase in the use of electronic devices by pedestrians and cyclists that may affect their perception when crossing the road. This can lead to traffic accidents. In order to investigate the problem, field studies were carried out and their results are presented in the article. Pilot studies on pedestrian and cyclist behaviour were carried out at three pedestrian crossings with traffic lights in Gdansk. Attention was paid to whether pedestrians and cyclists use headphones when crossing the road, whether they are talking on the phone or writing SMS. The results of the research indicate that currently in Gdańsk about 10% of unprotected traffic users use a telephone and 5% use headphones at pedestrian crossings. Most of them are young people, 70–90% of all users. Women prefer using headphones more than men. Pedestrians exhibited dangerous behaviour involving entering the road at a red light regardless of the use of telephones and headphones. Therefore, as part of the studies described, it cannot be clearly stated whether the use of telephones and headphones increases the risk of being the victim of an accident. Due to the lack of separate statistics with accidents involving mobile phones and headsets, it was not possible to analyse statistical data in this respect. At the same time, research confirmed traffic disruptions at the crossings, caused by telephone users, as indicated in literature.


Keywords:

headphones; mobile phones; road safety; vulnerable users

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References


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DOI: 10.7250/bjrbe.2020-15.496

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