Investigation of Smartphone Use While Walking and Its Influences on One’s Behavior Among Pedestrians in Taiwan
While bringing about convenience, using smartphones while walking may distract the users, leading to potential hazards for both the user him/herself and other road users. In recent years, the number of accidents resulting from smartphone use while walking keeps growing. It hence becomes urgent to develop countermeasures to solve this problem. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the current status of smartphone use while walking in Taiwan, as well as analyzing its influences on the user’s behavior.
On the one hand, a structured questionnaire was administered to 100 participants ranging from 20 to 64 years old, in which one’s experience of and attitude toward smartphone use while walking being surveyed in detail. On the other hand, behavioral data were collected and analyzed among three male and three female adults in their 20 s by an eye tracking system and a motion capture system. The performance and strategies of foot-eye coordination were compared among conditions including free walking, walking while holding a smartphone, and texting on a smartphone while walking.
Results showed that most people are aware of the risks associated with smartphone use while walking, but they somehow fail to follow the recommendations for not doing so. The findings also suggest that distracted walking caused by smartphone use did slow down the pedestrian, limit his/her visual attention, and impair the stability of walking. Therefore, countermeasures would be necessary to help reduce the associated risks.
KeywordsSmartphones Distracted walking Foot-eye coordination
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