(Image credit- Forbes)
Are you worried about the risks of walking while paying attention? You’ll be glad to know that academics from the University of Alabama in Birmingham have come up with a creative approach to solve this issue.
Introducing StreetBit, a smartphone software that has the potential to transform pedestrian safety.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 7,000 pedestrians died in car accidents in the US in 2020. Alarmingly, accidents of this nature occur at least once every 75 minutes.
Distractions brought on by smartphones had a big role in these fatal events. The StreetBit app, however, is here to change that.
How the Cutting-Edge Mobile App Operates
The software offers a crucial safety net for preoccupied walkers by employing Bluetooth beacon technology. Their devices will receive audible and visual alerts as they approach street corners with Bluetooth beacons deployed. Users who heed these warnings are more likely to avoid distraction-related mishaps.
But the advantages go further than that. The software is also reasonably priced and offers a model for additional pedestrian safety measures in the future. Five UAB researchers recently co-authored a paper that demonstrated the value of StreetBit as both a service and an investment.
So, if you’re a pedestrian who can’t help but check your phone when you’re out and about, don’t worry! StreetBit will take care of you. With this ground-breaking new app, keep secure and connected. Keep reading.
One Download at a Time: Pedestrian Safety Promotion
With more and more people getting hurt or even killed when crossing the street while staring at their phones, distracted walking has become a significant worry in recent years.
According to Medical Xpress, the researchers’ study, “Cost-benefit analysis of a distracted pedestrian intervention,” is the first of its kind to evaluate the efficacy of distracted pedestrian intervention programs like StreetBit, an innovative app made to help users remain conscious of their surroundings while walking.
Researchers looked at Alabama’s rates of pedestrian fatalities and injuries, estimated medical expenses per injury, and the frequency of distracted walking. They predicted that StreetBit and similar initiatives may ultimately result in annual savings of between $18 and $29 million for the state alone.
The study’s primary author, Jillur Rahim, a statistician II in the School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Organization, thinks the results could have a substantial impact on pedestrian safety throughout the nation.
“We hope the template developed in this study can facilitate large-scale implementation of any intervention designed to prevent pedestrian fatalities and injuries,” the researcher stated.
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The researcher continued, “The results can result in significant cost savings for the states and, most importantly, save pedestrian lives by facilitating widespread adoption of such programs.”
In the battle against distracted walking, StreetBit’s potential to save lives and lower injury rates is a hopeful development.
The authors anticipate that their findings will persuade policymakers to implement similar interventions and that the cost-benefit analysis template they created will be helpful in future cost-benefit studies for pedestrian safety measures.