Flashing LED lights embedded into pavements

QUT distracted walking 2

A lot of road safety attention has been given to distracted drivers.  But what about pedestrians who have their heads buried in a mobile phone.  David Brown reports on research that shows that flashing LED lights can help.

There are growing concerns about ‘distracted walking’, particularly pedestrian distraction from looking down at mobile phones,”

Flashing LED lights embedded into pavements could improve the safety of pedestrians distracted by their phones, says Australia’s Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

The research compared the reaction times for people on their phones when there was flashing lights in the pavement versus face level lights.  They also analysised people just listening to music or voices from their phones

The differences aren’t huge. Reaction time for ground lights (compared to eye level lights) improved by 159 milliseconds for lights one metre away, and 43 milliseconds for lights two metres away.

More work needs to be done.

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About David Brown 377 Articles
David’s boyhood passion for motor cars did not immediately lead to a professional role in the motor industry. A qualified Civil Engineer he specialised in traffic engineering and transport planning. What followed were various positions including being seconded to a government think-tank for the planning of transport firstly in Sydney and then for the whole of NSW. After working with the NRMA and as a consultant he moved to being an independent writer and commentator on the broader areas of transport and the more specific areas of the cars we drive. His half hour motoring program “Overdrive” has been described as an “informed, humorous and irreverent look at motoring and transport from Australia and overseas”. It is heard on 22 stations across Australia. He does weekly interviews with several ABC radio stations and is also heard on commercial radio in Sydney. David has written for metropolitan and regional newspapers and has presented regular segments on metropolitan and regional television stations. David is also a contributor for AnyAuto