Although it remains to be seen if these devices will become fixtures here in the United States, a new style of stoplight surfaced abroad--in the ground. The stoplights in the ground were developed to help remind texting-while-walking folks of traffic.
The lights are currently being used in Ausberg, Germany. Depending on success and funding, there is a possibility other cities across the world could implement similar programs.
Texting-while-walking accidents are more common than most people understand. A study from the United States Office of Compliance found that "Slow-crossing students with cell phones were up to 43% more likely to be hit by a vehicle while crossing the street." When it comes to pedestrian safety, smartphone use while walking could contribute to a number of accidents: Slips-and-falls, walking into oncoming traffic, encountering a dangerous dog that could have been avoided if one had been paying attention. The unfortunate thing about pedestrian accidents of this nature is that they could injure another innocent party. Learn about pedestrian accidents in Raleigh.
News outlets have reported some controversy over the new in-ground traffic lights. The benefits of the stoplights appear evident: New reminders to help notify pedestrians of oncoming vehicles and lives saved through prevented accidents. However, some individuals have voiced concerns that people may be too immersed in the phones to notice the lights or might not be informed about the lights purpose.
Better devices may develop as technology and researchers continue to refine the new stoplight fixtures. Until then, encourage others to save texting for safe spaces.