Smartphones Hinder Child Pedestrian Crossing Abilities

Posted: Aug 31 2016, 1:13pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


Smartphones Hinder Child Pedestrian Crossing Abilities
Fig. 1. This image shows a dome projection facility and pedestrian simulator at the BGU ergonomics complex. Left: A child participant viewing the scenario on the Dome screen with the eye tracker strapped to his head. Right: A perspective of a participant facing the dome. Credit: BGU
  • Cell Phone Convo presents Obstacles to Pedestrian Children Crossing the Road

It has been found that cell phone convo presents some substantial obstacles to pedestrian children who are crossing the road.

Scientists in Israel have identified the fact that a child pedestrian crossing the road at a zebra crossing is severely hindered by cell phone conversation. This is in fact much more so than an adult who would also end up scatter-brained or double-minded when engaged in this multitasking.

The study will get printed in the November, 2016 issue of the journal Safety Science (Elsevier).

While many children tote cell phones, how the use of these cell phones affects their everyday lives remains a moot point. Now this study proves that not all the consequences of this latest form of technology are salubrious. 

A third of the road traffic deaths take place among pedestrians in the low income and medium income countries. Especially the deaths of children who are pedestrians is significantly high thereby sparking concerns among researchers and the general population.

The study was carried out at a virtual lab. There the conditions of roadside accidents were simulated in the most safest of conditions. This was so as to lend scientists valuable insights into real life scenarios. 

The pedestrian dome simulator is a 180 degree spherical screen with a crystal clear three-projector system. A partaker can be contained within its ambit.

14 adults and 38 children were experimented on in this study. Road crossing scenes alongside cell phone conversations were recorded and observed.

The pedestrians switched on a response button when they were in the mood to cross the road. The experts meanwhile recorded the eye movements of the pedestrians very carefully.

The results spoke volumes about the vulnerability of kids to accidents while crossing the road. The phone convos did affect the road crossing abilities of all the participants, yet it was the kids who were the most careless in matters having to do with safety precautions.   

Not only were the children more likely to be easily distracted, they didn’t pay much attention to what went on in the outer real world environment. It looks like the attention and observational abilities atrophied each time an interesting conversation took place on the cell phone.

The kids being a relatively innocent and naïve lot were especially prone to this fault by default. This ability to observe safety rules increased with age. The groups of participants that were older did not make as many mistakes as the youthful group.

Thus young people ought to either turn off their cell phones while crossing the road or at least pay closer attention to what is going on all around them for a change.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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