Smartphone gaming is associated with pedestrians' head-turning performances: An observational study of street-crossing behaviors at uncontrolled intersection in Taipei

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Pedestrians' head-turning behaviors are crucial to navigating streets safely. This research investigates the effects of phone use on pedestrians' street-crossing behaviors at an uncontrolled intersection where head-turning performances are important to identify a gap among the oncoming traffic. A field study using video cameras was conducted for evaluating pedestrians' head-turning behaviors (e.g., head-turning frequency, not looking at traffic before crossing, looking at the wrong traffic side), crossing time, and sudden movement while they were engaging in various smartphone activities (e.g., calling, texting, gaming, and listening to music). Data such as phone features, distraction types, and personal attributes of the pedestrians were obtained in the interviews conducted after pedestrians had completed crossing the street. The results indicate that the unsafe crossing behaviors (e.g., sudden movement, fewer head-turning frequencies, not looking at traffic before crossing, not looking at left side of traffic first) were more prevalent among those gaming with “Pokemon Go.” Web surfing appears to be the 2nd risky distraction event following gaming with “Pokemon Go.” Logistic regression models reveal several important correlates of unsafe crossing behaviors: being a student, large phone screen (5 in. or larger), and having un-restricted 4G Internet data allowance. The current research recommends that “Pokemon Go” gaming be prohibited while crossing the street.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-18
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Transportation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2018



  • gaming
  • Head-turning behaviors
  • pedestrian safety
  • smartphone
  • uncontrolled intersection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation

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