A study out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham reveals that cell phone use by child pedestrians while crossing streets is dangerous and puts children at risk for death or injury due to reduced reaction time and reduced perception of risk. The study will be published in the February issue of Pediatrics.
A well-designed study demonstrated measurable data that does prove it is dangerous for children to cross streets while talking on their cell phones. It shows that when children multi-task while conversing on the cell phones they have a reduced cognitive capacity that causes them to misjudge the speed and distance of vehicles. The study also showed that children on cell phones had a slower reaction time and were more likely to not look both ways before crossing.
More research will be conducted to measure the risk for children as they are listening to mp3 players and texting while crossing streets. Funding for the study was provided through grants by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the UAB Injury Control Research Center with a cooperative agreement with the Federal Highway Administration.
The study was published by UAB doctoral student, Despina Stavrinos under the direction of UAB psychologist, Dr. David Schwebel.