Distracted Walking: A Critical Analysis of the Real Risks and Solutions

July 18, 2023

Dissecting the “Distracted Walking” Narrative

Pedestrian deaths have risen by a staggering 35% between 2008 and 2017 in the United States. This alarming statistic has prompted widespread concern, with many attributing this to the rise of ‘distracted walking’. The common narrative suggests that pedestrians absorbed in their phones, music, or conversations are oblivious to oncoming traffic, leading to fatal accidents.

However, this widely accepted narrative is not as clear-cut as it seems. A 2020 study from Rutgers University by Dr. Kelcie Ralph and Ian Girardeau counters this common narrative, suggesting that distracted walking is a factor in only 5% to 10% of crashes, a far cry from the emphasis it’s given in the public sphere.

Fupping, July 18, 2023

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