Safety 2021, 7(1), 17; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/safety7010017 - 02 Mar 2021
The topic of the use of mobile devices and headphones on pedestrian crossings is much less explored in comparison to the use of the mobile phone while driving. Recent years have seen many discussions on this issue, especially in foreign countries. The Slovak [...] Read more.
The topic of the use of mobile devices and headphones on pedestrian crossings is much less explored in comparison to the use of the mobile phone while driving. Recent years have seen many discussions on this issue, especially in foreign countries. The Slovak Republic, however, has not been giving it enough attention (and it is not mentioned in the National Road Safety Plan for the Slovak Republic from 2011 to 2020). This paper aims to draw attention to this issue. It presents basic outputs of a pilot study on pedestrian safety, with a focus on the use of mobile devices and headphones at selected non-signalized pedestrian crossings in three Slovak cities. Overall, 9% of pedestrians used headphones or mobile devices at observed pedestrian crossings (4% of them used headphones, 1% used headphones and at same time used their mobile phone, 2% made phone calls and 2% used their mobile phones). While these numbers can be considered relatively low, the study proved that during weekdays every 2 min someone was using the crossing without fully focusing on crossing the road safely. Another main finding was that although the safety risk at pedestrian crossings is increased by factors such as rush hour traffic or reduced visibility, pedestrian behavior related to the use of mobile phones and headphones does not change. A safety assessment was also carried out at the crossings. The results show that pedestrian behavior is not affected by the level of safety of the crossing (e.g., visibility of the crossing for drivers). The results of the presented analysis suggest that action is needed to change that. Due to the lack of information about accidents involving pedestrians using mobile phones and headsets when crossing the road, no relevant statistical data could be analyzed. The dataset collected can be used as a basis for further investigation or comparisons with other countries of the relevant indicators. In future work, we would like to include a pedestrian–driver interaction factor focusing on driver speed behavior in relation to pedestrians (who are on or are about to step onto a pedestrian crossing) and identify critical situations caused by improper behavior of drivers and/or pedestrians. This will help to understand speed adjustment problems related to pedestrian crossings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Motorized Road Users Safety)►▼ Show Figures