Pedestrians Focus More on Cellphones than Safety While Crossing Street

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Goodshoot RF/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — We all know the dangers of distracted driving, but a new survey finds distracted walking to be an equal safety risk.

According to a Liberty Mutual Insurance Pedestrian Safety Survey, 60 percent of pedestrians walk while texting, emailing, talking on the phone or listening to music, despite 70 percent considering those behaviors to be dangerous.

A 2011 report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that 1,152 people were treated at hospital emergency rooms after being injured while walking and using a cellphone or another electronic device.

The Liberty Mutual Insurance survey of more than 1,000 adults finds 55 percent consider texting or emailing while crossing a street to be the most dangerous activity when walking — more dangerous than running across the street to beat oncoming traffic or jaywalking.

The Liberty Mutual Insurance survey also finds that drivers are aware of the dangers they pose to pedestrians when they talk on the phone or text while behind the wheel, but many do not modify their actions for safety.

  • Fifty-nine percent of drivers say talking on a cellphone while driving is dangerous to pedestrians, but 70 percent still admit doing so.
  • Ninety percent of motorists say reading or sending text messages while driving is dangerous for pedestrians, but 38 percent still admit doing so.
  • 33 percent of drivers say listening to music at a high volume while driving is dangerous for pedestrians, but 64 percent of motorists admit to engaging in that activity.

The phone survey of 1,004 adults was conducted from April 1 to April 10, 2013.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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