Smartphone Usage: Smombies, beware!

Smartphone-obsessed pedestrians staring intently at their phones as they blunder through intersections and across footpaths are a danger both to themselves and other road users.

Smartphone-Nutzung von Fußgängern

Ablenkung durch das Smartphone: Der Chat zur falschen Zeit kann Fußgänger gefährden. (Foto: DEKRA)

It’s no longer just in european capitals that road users need to take so-called “smombies” into consideration; these smartphone-obsessed pedestrians can nowadays be found wandering obliviously through virtually every town and city – staring intently at their phones as they blunder through intersections and across footpaths. Be they distracted by instant messaging or phone calls, or even just choosing the next track to listen to, they are a danger both to themselves and other road users.

Smartphone Usage amongst Pedestrians

Source: DEKRA Accident Research

As part of an international study, DEKRA’s Accident Research division recently discovered that the age bracket most affected by this trend is those between 25 and 35. Within the study, observers were also able to discover a difference in usage according to the gender of the smombie: Women were more likely to use their smartphone for instant messaging, whereas men prioritized their music.

Smartphone Usage amongst Pedestrians

Source: DEKRA Accident Research

The danger associated with being distracted by one’s smartphone was underestimated by both sexes. Exemplifying this, 22 percent of all road deaths in the European Union are pedestrians, and every tenth death on German roads is a direct result of the pedestrian’s behavior. Amongst the six European capitals under examination in the study, Stockholm led the pack in terms of smartphone usage on the move, with 23.6% across all age groups. In Amsterdam, that number was a little over eight percent.

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