Investigation of Distracted Pedestrians' Exposure Duration at Signalized and Unsignalized Pedestrian Crossings: A Bayesian Modeling Approach
During the last decades, distraction caused by mobile phones has created concerns about pedestrians' safety, especially while crossing a road. The aim of this paper is to investigate the factors that have an effect on the crossing duration of pedestrians, distracted by mobile phone use, at both signalized and unsignalized crossings. Pedestrians with mobile phones were observed during crossing the aforementioned types of crossings in Thessaloniki, Greece, while their crossing duration was further examined via the development of Bayesian regression models, one for unsignalized and one for signalized crossings. For the research purposes, 554 pedestrians were observed at unsignalized crossings and 409 at signalized ones. The most commonly observed type of distraction was talking on the mobile phone, while texting was also found to be very common. The variables, found to be associated with crossing duration, were significantly different between unsignalized and signalized crossings. Crossing duration at unsignalized crossings seemed to be affected by the experience of a potential conflict with a motorized vehicle and the presence of additional distractors, such as the carrying of an object and the presence of company. At signalized crossings, duration tended to be influenced by the age of the pedestrian and the position before crossing. Current research contributes in understanding and modeling distracted pedestrians' behavior when crossing streets.