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Smart phone-addicted schoolers are three times more likely to have accidents

Smart phone-addicted schoolers are three times more likely to have accidents

Posted May. 05, 2017 07:15,   

Updated May. 05, 2017 07:20


Smart phone-addicted elementary schoolers are three times more likely to have accidents than non-smart phone users

Elementary school students with high addiction to smart phones are put at four times greater risk of traffic accidents than those without smart phone addiction.

The Transportation, Climate, and Environment Research Center under Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance surveyed 1,533 elementary school students and 1,260 parents in Seoul. According to the result revealed on Thursday, 842 students, or 55 percent, use smart phones, 26.1 percent of respondents have experiences in using smart phones while walking and 31.4 percent said that they have had or nearly had accidents because of this. This figure is 8.3 percent higher than that of those students who don’t use smart phones (23.1 percent).

The analysis of correlation between the use of smart phones and the risk of traffic accidents among 842 students finds that the probability of accidents is 38.9 percent among students with high smart phone addiction, which is more than four times higher than that among those who use smart phone less (9.4 percent). The level of smart phone use is measured by asking how frequently the respondents use smart phones while having conversations with family members, eating, watching TV, and before going to bed.

In particular, AR games such as Pokémon GO that has recently gained popularity are found to raise the likelihood of accidents among elementary school students. Out of 143 students who have played an AR game on smart phones, 70 percent or more of them say they played the game while walking or running on the street. About 19 percent of the respondents say they have jaywalked while playing the game.

“Mobile carriers or related industries are urgently required to come up with countermeasures, such as development of an application that prevents the person from using the smart phone while walking,” said Park Seong-jae, senior researcher at Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance’s research center.

Ae-Jin Ju jaj@donga.com