Distracted walking has become a global problem. In cities around the world, more and more people are paying more attention to their phones than where they're going. Referred to as "petextrians," these distracted pedestrians are putting themselves at risk.

If they're not looking out for cars, drivers may not see them until it is too late. So, in an effort to keep both walkers and drivers safe, Ford has developed a new Pre-Collision Assist feature.

How Distracted Walking can be as Dangerous as Distracted Driving

Distracted Walking

According to a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a pedestrian is injured in a motor vehicle crash every eight minutes. This number has risen in the past few years largely because of distracted walking.

Several cities (and a town), in fact, have taken measures to protect "petextrians."

  • In Chongqing, China, a popular theme park has created thirty meters of smartphone lanes.
  • Officials in Seoul, South Korea are planning to put up signage to warn walkers to pay attention to traffic.
  • Pedestrians in Augsburg, Germany are now warned by a strip of blinking red LED lights when they are crossing the tram tracks.
  • In Rexburg, Idaho, it is illegal to text while crossing the street. Violators are fined $50 per offense.

The problem of distracted driving has been in the news a lot lately. And, of course, it is extremely dangerous to use a cell phone while driving. However, it is important for those who travel on foot to realize that distracted walking is also hazardous. This is especially true for pedestrians out and about in high-traffic areas.

In the absolute worst case scenario, a distracted driver might encounter a walker who isn't paying attention. With such a situation, disaster is the most likely outcome.

How Ford is Working to Keep "Petextrians" Safer

Obviously, the best solution to the distracted walking problem would be for everyone to put their phones away while they're in transit. Drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, joggers and walkers would agree to refrain from using their phones while en route.

But because this is unlikely to happen any time soon, other measures must be taken. For example, Ford Motor Company has created the new Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection. This feature has been designed to predict the movements of pedestrians. With this technology, collisions with those on foot might be avoided altogether. Or, at the very least, accidents won't be as severe.

Pedestrian Detection is a complex system that uses more than 240 terabytes of test data. To put this in perspective, this amount of information is equal to about 20.4 trillion books. Or you might think of it as 600 Libraries of Congress containing 34 million books each.

In order to gather all of this data, Ford conducted extensive development testing. The company logged data in Europe, China and the U.S. for 473 days. Covering 500,000+ miles, more than 3 million scans of vehicles, objects and pedestrians were collected and stored.

Scott Lindstrom, Ford Driver Assist Technologies Manager, had the following to say about this new safety tech:

"Since we are trying to avoid a collision that hasn't happened yet, Prediction of the future is an inherent part of the puzzle. Having a huge cache of data - based on real-world driving conditions -- helps our system be smart enough to determine what may happen in a second that has not yet even occurred."

In North America, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection will be debuted as an available feature on the 2017 Ford Fusion.

Getting a Bad Credit Car Loan for a Safer Drive

It's up to everyone to do their part by putting their phones away while commuting. Also, if your current car isn't as reliable as it used to be, it might be time to buy a new vehicle. Or, if you don't own a vehicle and are tired of walking everywhere, purchasing a car might be a good move.

Of course, if you're dealing with credit issues, you might be worried about getting approved for a car loan. But, luckily, Drivers Lane can help. Even if you have bad credit, we can match you with a dealership in your area that can work with your situation. In fact, you may even be able to buy your vehicle with little or no money down.

Our service is free and there are no obligations. So you have no reason not to apply and see what we can do for you. Go ahead and fill out our simple and secure online application to get started today.