ANOTHER REASON THAT A SOUND MIGHT HELP PEDESTRIANS: Human factors and experimental psychologists found that pedestrians crossing the street while talking on a cell phone were at a greater risk of endangering their health than those not on the phone. Participants walking on a treadmill in a virtual reality environment that simulated a busy intersection missed more opportunities to cross and took 25 percent longer to cross the street than those not on the phone. Pedestrians preoccupied with phone calls were also more likely to get run over.
HELPING DRIVERS NOTICE CYCLISTS: Human factors engineers developed a vehicle warning system to improve the safety of bicyclists. The system consists of a GPS-enabled device mounted to the dashboard that communicates with a similar device on a bicycle. When the system detects a bicyclist in close proximity to the vehicle, the car's driver is alerted to the potential collision.
The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, the Acoustical Society of America, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.-USA, the American Physical Society and the Biophysical Society contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.