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Contributors to pedestrian distraction and risky behaviours during road crossings in Romania
  1. Cara Hamann1,
  2. Diana Dulf2,
  3. Erika Baragan-Andrada2,
  4. Morgan Price3,
  5. Corinne Peek-Asa4
  1. 1Injury Prevention Research Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
  2. 2Department of Public Health, College of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  3. 3Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, College of Engineering, 1513 University Ave, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  4. 4Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa College of Public Health, Iowa City, Iowa USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Cara Hamann, Injury Prevention Research Center, University of Iowa, 145 N. Riverside Dr., S449 CPHB, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA; cara-hamann{at}


Objective Pedestrian fatalities due to collisions with motor vehicles are a large public health problem in Romania, ranking them among the highest in Eastern Europe. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of crash factors by examining how roadway and environmental characteristics contribute to pedestrian distraction and risky behaviours at pedestrian MVC (PMVC) locations in Cluj County, Romania.

Methods A sample of PMVC locations was selected from the 2010 Cluj County police reported crash database for on-site examination. A total of 100 sites were visited to collect details on site characteristics and typical pedestrian and driver behaviours. Variable distributions were examined and rate ratios of pedestrian distraction and risky behaviours were calculated.

Results Pedestrian distraction and risky behaviours were observed at rates of 6.3 and 24.3 per 100 observed pedestrians. The majority of distractions were related to electronic device use. Risky behaviours were evenly split between unpredictable, partial use of a crosswalk and midblock illegal crossings. Distractions and risky behaviours decreased as the number of pedestrians and average vehicle speeds at a site increased. RR of distraction was higher at intersections and locations with crosswalks.

Conclusions Pedestrian distraction was highly correlated with pedestrian risky behaviours at PMVC locations in Romania. Higher pedestrian volume was protective against pedestrian distraction and risky behaviours. Locations with painted crosswalks had increased distraction. Targeted distraction prevention, particularly at intersections and crosswalk locations, may contribute to the prevention of PMVCs.

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  • Contributors CH and CP-A: conception and design, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the final version of the manuscript for publication.

  • EB-A:, DD: and MP: conception and design, acquisition of data, interpretation of data and writing the final version of the manuscript for publication.

  • Funding Partial funding was provided by the NIH-Fogarty Funded University of Iowa Trauma Training Program (D43 TW007261) and the CDC/NCIPC-funded University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center (R49 CE002108).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval University of Iowa Institutional Review Board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.