They watched how pedestrians crossed the street — whether they looked both ways or obeyed the intersection signal — and also recorded how long it took pedestrians to do so. Distractions included listening to music with headphones, using a cell phone or earpiece to talk on a cell phone, text messaging, and talking with another person. They also included information on the pedestrians’ gender and made estimates of their ages.
In essence, cell phone is like a radio. When you talk on your cell phone, your voice is transmitted from the antenna as radio frequency radiation (RFR). Depending on how close the cell phone antenna is to your head, between 20% and 60% of the radiation emitted by your cell phone is transferred into your head.
Drivers talking on cell phones were 18 percent slower to react to brake lights, the new study found. In a minor bright note, they also kept a 12 percent greater following distance. But they also took 17 percent longer to regain the speed they lost when they braked. That frustrates everyone.
Just as drivers who text, talk on , or adjust MP3 players increase their risk of losing control of their vehicles, pedestrians distracted by their conversations or their gadgets also put themselves at higher risk of getting into an accident. Previous work that people talking on cell phones were at greater risk of being careless while walking, but those studies focused on simulated environments, so the current study’s authors examined a large number of pedestrians in real-world situations.