A survey of 305 students at one campus found that 40 percent of cell phone users said they walked somewhere after dark that they normally wouldn’t go.
A separate survey found that about three-quarters of students said that carrying a cell phone while walking alone at night made them feel somewhat or a lot safer.
“Students seem to feel less vulnerable when they carry a cell phone, although there’s not evidence that they really are,” said Jack Nasar, co-author of the study and professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State University.
“If anything, they are probably less safe because they are paying less attention to their surroundings.”
Nasar conducted the study with Peter Hecht of Temple University in Philadelphia and Richard Wener of Brooklyn Polytechnic University in New York. Their results were published in a recent issue of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.
The study involved online or phone interviews with randomly selected students at Ohio State. One sample in 2001 included 317 students and a separate survey one year later included 305 students.
Women reported feeling a greater increase in safety carrying a cell phone than did male students, probably because they felt more vulnerable in the first place, Nasar said.
As a result, more women than men said that, if they had a cell phone they would be willing to walk somewhere after dark that they would normally not go (42 percent of women vs. 28 percent of men).
“Especially for women, cell phones offer a sense of security that may make them more willing to put themselves in risky situations,” Nasar said.
The biggest issue may be that when people are talking on the cell phone, they are not focusing on what is going on around them, according to Nasar. The possibility of crime is not the only problem.
In a separate study, Nasar and his colleagues found that 48 per cent of cell phone users crossed a busy road in front of approaching cars, compared to only 25 per cent of those not using phones.
“We know that cell phones pose a hazard for people when they’re driving, but pedestrians may also be at risk if they are not careful,” he said.
While these students were surveyed in 2001 and 2002, Nasar said the results still apply today, and maybe even more so. Back at that time, fewer college students had cell phones. In the 2001 sample, 38 percent reported they did not have a cell phone. One year later, that was down to 14 percent.
The researchers conducted an independent survey of 100 students at Brooklyn Polytechnic and found similar results, Nasar said, indicating that the findings could apply to a wide variety of students from across the country.
Nasar said the results suggest colleges may want to add to the safety lectures they commonly give to incoming freshmen.
“Students need to be aware of their surroundings when they’re out using their cell phone,” he said. “In some cases, walking with a cell phone might make them vulnerable, either to crime or to an accident.”
Cell phone users should also consider adding emergency numbers to the “speed dial” functions of their phone so it will be easier to summon help if needed.
Jack Nasar | EurekAlert!
Self-organising system enables motile cells to form complex search pattern
07.05.2019 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Mouse studies show minimally invasive route can accurately administer drugs to brain
02.05.2019 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.
Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...
The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified
The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...
Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.
Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...
Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.
The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...
Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.
The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
19.06.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
19.06.2019 | Information Technology
19.06.2019 | Materials Sciences