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Accident Lawyers Network

Monday, January 26, 2009

Children Crossing the Street on Cell Phones More Likely to be Hit by Cars

A study out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham reports that children who are talking on cell phones as they cross the street are 43 percent more likely to be hit by a car. Because they aren't paying attention, children may inadvertently step out into traffic when they think it is safe to do so.

According to one of those involved in the study, which appears in the journal Pediatrics, children who attempt to multitask while on a cell phone may have "reduced cognitive capacity to devote to potentially dangerous activities such as crossing streets."

The Alabama study used virtual reality software and TV screens to test 77 children, ages 10 and 11. The simulated traffic and crosswalk was used to show children's reactions. They were told to cross the road when they felt it was safe to do so. This was done six times without the phone and six times while speaking with a research assistant. When the children stepped off the curb, a sensor captured their moves. The researchers found that children took more risks while speaking on the phone than without it. The research also showed children took 20 percent longer crossing the street, forgot to look both ways 20 percent of the time, and gave themselves eight percent less time when crossing into oncoming traffic.

The researchers wrote that their results "suggest that just as drivers should limit cell phone use while driving, pedestrians – and especially child pedestrians – should limit cell phone use while crossing streets."

If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian/vehicle incident, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.

posted by Neil at 9:03 AM

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