Nav: Home

Cell phone conversations hinder child pedestrian crossing abilities -- Ben Gurion U. study

August 30, 2016

BEER-SHEVA, Israel ...August 30, 2016 - Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have determined that a child pedestrian's ability to safely cross the road is hindered more during a cell phone conversation than an adult's. The study will be published in the November, 2016 issue of Safety Science (Elsevier).

"Although many children carry cell phones, the effect that cell phone conversations have on children's crossing behavior has not been thoroughly examined," explains Prof. Tal Oron-Gilad, a researcher in the BGU Department of Industrial Engineering and Management.

"Over a third of the road traffic deaths in low- and middle-income countries are among pedestrians. This high level of involvement is particularly meaningful for child pedestrians as the proportion of child pedestrian fatalities is significantly high relative to adults," she adds.

The study was conducted at the BGU Virtual Environment Simulation Laboratory, one of the world's most sophisticated traffic research facilities, which enables researchers to measure pedestrian reactions to virtual reality scenarios. The pedestrian dome simulator consists of a 180-degree spherical screen aligned with a highly accurate three-projector system large enough to immerse a participant within its circumference.

The simulator experiment was conducted in a virtual city environment with 14 adults and 38 children who experienced road crossing scenarios paired with pre-determined cell phone conversations. The subjects were requested to press a response button whenever they felt it was safe to cross while the researchers tracked their eye movements.

"The results showed that while all age groups' crossing behaviors were affected by cell phone conversations, children were more susceptible to distraction," says Prof. Oron-Gilad.

"When busy with more cognitively demanding conversation types, participants were slower to react to a crossing opportunity, chose smaller crossing gaps and allocated less visual attention to the peripheral regions of the scene."

The ability to make better crossing decisions improved with age. The most prominent improvement was shown in the "safety gap;" each age group maintained a longer gap than the younger one preceding it.

"It is important to take those findings in account when aiming to train young pedestrians for road safety and increase public awareness with children going back to school," Prof. Oron-Gilad says.
-end-
Cell phone conversations and child pedestrian's crossing behavior, a simulator study. Hagai Tapiro, Tal Oron-Gilad, Yisrael Parmet Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. Tapiro, H., et al. Safety Sci. (2016). Safety Science 89:36-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2016.05.013.



About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion's vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University's expertise locally and around the globe. As Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) looks ahead to turning 50 in 2020, AABGU imagines a future that goes beyond the walls of academia. It is a future where BGU invents a new world and inspires a vision for a stronger Israel and its next generation of leaders. Together with supporters, AABGU will help the University foster excellence in teaching, research and outreach to the communities of the Negev for the next 50 years and beyond. Visit vision.aabgu.org to learn more.

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Related Children Articles:

Do children inherently want to help others?
A new special section of the journal Child Development includes a collection of ten empirical articles and one theoretical article focusing on the predictors, outcomes, and mechanisms related to children's motivations for prosocial actions, such as helping and sharing.
Children need conventional CPR; black and Hispanic children more likely to get Hands-Only
While compressions-only or Hands-Only CPR is as good as conventional CPR for adults, children benefit more from the conventional approach that includes rescue breaths.
Cohen Children's Medical Center study: Children on autism spectrum more likely to wander, disappear
A new study by researchers at Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York suggests that more than one-quarter million school-age children with autism spectrum disorder or other developmental disorders wander away from adult supervision each year.
The importance of children at play
Research highlights positive strengths in developmental learning for Latino children in low-income households based on their interactive play skills.
Racial disparities in pain children of children with appendicitis in EDs
Black children were less likely to receive any pain medication for moderate pain and less likely to receive opioids for severe pain than white children in a study of racial disparities in the pain management of children with appendicitis in emergency departments, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.
UofL offers vaccine trial for children with relapsed tumors at Kosair Children's Hospital
Children with relapsed tumors and their parents are finding hope in a Phase I research study led by Kenneth G.
Dana-Farber/Boston Children's opens immunotherapy trial for children with leukemia
Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center has joined a clinical trial of immunotherapy for children with relapsed or treatment-resistant acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
Children less likely to come to the rescue when others are available
Children as young as 5 years old are less likely to help a person in need when other children are present and available to help, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
IPT for children with anaemia
Researchers from Tanzania and South Africa, who are part of the Cochrane Infectious Disease Group, hosted at LSTM, have conducted an independent review to assess the effect of intermittent preventive antimalarial treatment for children with anaemia living in malaria endemic regions.
Safety first, children
Children are experts at getting into danger. So, how can parents help prevent the consequences?

Related Children Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Crisis
There's no greater threat to humanity than climate change. What can we do to stop the worst consequences? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can save our planet and whether we can do it in time. Guests include climate activist Greta Thunberg, chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox, research scientist Sean Davis, food innovator Bruce Friedrich, and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...