Distracted Walking

Pedestrian Safety

Against Victim Blaming

One common scapegoat for rising pedestrian death rates is "distracted walking." But there is little reason to believe that smartphone-wielding pedestrians are a major cause of roadway carnage.

March 9, 2021 - Michael Lewyn

Mobile Phones

Report: Dangers of Pedestrian Texting Overblown

Distracted walking is never a great idea. But in New York City at least, texting while walking only led to 2 out of 534 pedestrian deaths from 2014 through 2017.

September 27, 2019 - New York Daily News

Pedestrian Signal

Walking Directions, Assisted by Augmented Reality

Augmented reality could boost safety for pedestrians, or it could add another layer of distraction between people and the real world.

August 12, 2019 - Smart Cities Dive

Winter Pedestrians

New York to Consider Fines for Distracted Walking

A state senator in New York thinks one way to lower the number of pedestrians killed every year is to penalize people who cross the street while looking at their phone.

May 20, 2019 - The Guardian

Text and Drive

Studies: Drivers Far More Distracted Than Walkers

Two articles in national publications share findings from recent studies that make it harder to accept the "distracted walking" excuse for increased traffic fatalities.

June 24, 2018 - FiveThirtyEight


California City Bans 'Distracted Walking'

It is illegal to operate a mobile phone to talk, text or listen to music while crossing the street in Montclair, California

February 19, 2018 - Daily Bulletin

Mobile Phones

Editorial: Ditch the Foolish Distracted Walking Tickets

Crossing the street can be dangerous in the best conditions, but a $500 fine for looking at the phone while crossing the street won't help anything, according to this editorial.

December 7, 2017 - Chicago Tribune

Both Ways

Ford Coins a New Term to Protect Cars from Pedestrians: 'Petextrians'

The Ford Motor Company picks a side in the traffic safety debate.

September 7, 2017 - Ford

Tokyo Pedestrians

More Cities Following Honolulu's Victim Blaming Model for Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian blaming won't make pedestrians any safer, but cities are trying it anyways.

September 6, 2017 - Streetsblog USA

Eating and Driving

Friday Funny: Sarcastic Responses to Honolulu's 'Distracted Walking' Ban

The Onion's always-sardonic "American Voices" feature allows some totally fake people to respond to Honolulu's recent decision to make it illegal to text while crossing the street on foot.

August 4, 2017 - The Onion

Pedestrians and Surfers

Illegal in Honolulu: Looking at a Phone While Crossing the Street

The Honolulu City Council approved fines for distracted walking—specifically for pedestrians crossing the street while looking at their phones.

July 17, 2017 - CNN

Mobile Phones

Infrastructure for Distracted Pedestrians: Streetlights in the Ground

Responses to the new pedestrian infrastructure in Bodegraven are likely to say these crosswalk signals in the ground are victim-blaming or Millennial-coddling.

March 30, 2017 - World Economic Forum

New Jersey Considering Fines for Distracted Pedestrians

Having launched a pedestrian safety campaign focused on education, legislators may go a step further to tackle another 'E'—enforcement. But rather than drivers, pedestrians looking down at their smart phones will be the targets.

March 25, 2016 - NJ.com

Vancouver Street Scene

The Perils of Walking While Under the Influence of Your Phone

Everyone seems to do it, in fact you may be doing it right now, but beware the injuries that await from distracted walking.

December 13, 2015 - New York Times - Well

Seeing Eye People

Distracted Walking: Finally, Some Hard Data

It's serious, and the data is surprising. You need not be a pedestrian to experience injury while walking using your cell phone: half of all injuries occurred in the home. Two thirds of all walking-using-cell phone injuries were females.

October 4, 2015 - The Washington Post

Cell Phones Fail the Eyeball Test for Public Safety

Citing anecdotal evidence from Montgomery County, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and China, a Washington Post article argues that cell phones are creating public safety concerns.

September 22, 2014 - The Washington Post

Chinese City Installs Special Lanes for Distracted Walkers

In both a literal and figurative sign of the times, the Chinese city of Chongqing recently installed signage and marking to segregate pedestrian traffic between smartphone users and those walking free of such technological distractions.

September 16, 2014 - The Washington Post

Portland Pilots Project to Raise Pedestrian Awareness

With smartphone use eclipsing 60% of mobile subscribers, "distracted walking" is a growing problem in communities across the United States. Portland is testing out several technologies to prevent pedestrians from walking in front of buses.

November 4, 2013 - Governing

The Dangers of Distracted Subway Riding

Former Treasury Secretary LaHood made distracted driving a pet cause. The dangers of walking and texting are well documented. But would could straphangers have to fear from smartphones? Plenty, as the death of a S.F. Muni rider illustrates.

October 15, 2013 - San Francisco Chronicle

App To Warn You When You Are About To Be Hit By A Car

Carmakers are developing technologies to alert drivers and pedestrians if they are about to collide.

September 6, 2013 - The Car Connection

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