What could happen if everyone crossing Shibuya station was looking on their smartphone?

By on April 3, 2014

As the number of smartphone users rise, so does related accidents. Giant cell phone provider NTT Docomo, concerned about these accidents, initiated a simulation of what could happen if everyone’s attention crossing the lanes was on their phone?
Results: 21 people dropped their smartphones, 446 collided with one another  and 103 got knocked down.

NTT Docomo used Shibuya crossing, one of the busiest intersections in Tokyo, as reference.  Shibuya station is serviced by no less than eight trains with as many as 2,500 pedestrians at rush hours making their way across it in opposite directions.

NTT Docomo used 1,500 pedestrians and took the average Japanese adult’s height of 1.60 meters and weight of 58.8 kg walking in three speeds from 3 to 6 km/hour, as basis of the study. According to the researchers, the total range of perception with the gadget held below eye level is only 5 percent of what the eyes can receive in normal situation. NTT Docomo concludes therefore that a person staring at their gadget is not likely to be aware of another person approaching unless the two are within one and a  half meter of distance from each other.

As you can imagine, stopping to bow to apologize as customarily done in Japan means staying longer in the center of the lane where a likelihood of another collission can happen.  Others drop their phones and spend more time on the intersection to pick them up while others trip and fall down.   Watch video clip

About Ted Tanaka