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Study Regarding the Elderly and Dangers of Crossing the Road

October 19, 2014

Why did Mom cross the road? Well, we may never know if she was over 60 and was talking on the phone. As it turns out, people who listen to music while crossing a busy (simulated) street fared just as well as non-distracted pedestrians in a recent study. However, those on cell phones fared much worse, particularly those who were at higher risk to falls.

"Many people assume that walking is so automatic that really nothing will get in the way," said University of Illinois psychology professor Art Kramer, who led the research with psychology professor Jason McCarley and postdoctoral researcher Mark Neider. "And walking is pretty automatic, but actually walking in environments that have lots of obstacles is perhaps not as automatic as one might think."

"Older adults on the phone got run over about 15 percent more often" than those not on the phone, he said, and those with a history of falling fared even worse.
"So walking and talking on the phone while old, especially, appears to be dangerous," he said.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2009, November 18)

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