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Factors Influencing Pedestrian Smartphone Use and Effect of Combined Visual and Auditory Intervention on “Smombies”: A Chinese Observational Study

27 June 2022 / Source: ssph-journal.org

Objective: This was a large-scale multicenter study with two objectives. One was to study the factors influencing pedestrian smartphone use while crossing roads, and the other was to study the effect of combined visual and auditory intervention on smartphone zombies (smombies) at crossroads.Methods: This study was conducted in four different Chinese cities. By observing pedestrians crossing intersections, the weather, time, and characteristics of the pedestrians were recorded by four researchers. Then, its influencing factors and the effects of the intervention were studied in two consecutive periods.Results: A total of 25,860 pedestrians (13,086 without intervention and 12,774 with visual and auditory intervention) were observed in this study. Logistic regressions showed that gender, age of the pedestrians, weather, and time were the factors influencing smombies crossing roads. The number of smartphone users decreased from 4,289 to 3,579 (28.1%) (χ2 = 69.120, p < 0.001) when the intervention was conducted.Conclusion: Based on large-sample, multicenter research, this study revealed the factors influencing pedestrian smartphone use while crossing roads, contributing to our understanding of the current situation of smombies in China. Furthermore, the effect of visual and auditory intervention was demonstrated, providing a new paradigm for global prevention of smombie behavior.

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