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Pedestrian Behavior at Five Dangerous and Busy Manhattan Intersections

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Technology-related distracted behavior is an emergent national concern. Listening to, looking at or talking into an electronic device while walking divides attention, increasing the risk of injury. The purpose of this study was to quantify technology-related distracted pedestrian behavior at five dangerous and busy Manhattan intersections. Data were collected over ten cycles of signal changes at each of the four corners of five intersections at four times of day. Data for ‘Walk’ and ‘Don’t Walk’ signals were tallied separately. A total of 21,760 pedestrians were observed. Nearly one-third crossing on a ‘Walk’ signal (n = 5414, 27.8 %), and nearly half crossing on a ‘Don’t Walk’ signal (n = 974; 42.0 %) were wearing headphones, talking on a mobile phone, and/or looking down at an electronic device. Headphone use was the most common distraction.

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Correspondence to Corey H. Basch.

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Basch, C.H., Ethan, D., Zybert, P. et al. Pedestrian Behavior at Five Dangerous and Busy Manhattan Intersections. J Community Health 40, 789–792 (2015).

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