Pedestrian overpass use and its relationships with digital and social distractions, and overpass characteristics Academic Article uri icon


  • Pedestrian deaths and injuries are a major health issue in both developed and developing countries. In Vietnam, pedestrians account for about 10-11% of all road traffic deaths, while their travel distance contributes to approximately 2.4% of the total distance travelled by all modes. This paper aims to explore the use of pedestrian overpasses and identify influencing factors, particularly with regards to social and digital distractions, and overpass characteristics. An observational survey was conducted in Hanoi, Vietnam, in March 2017 at ten pedestrian overpasses. Behaviours of 608 pedestrians, including those who used an overpass to cross and those who illegally crossed, were observed. The rates of overpass usage varied significantly, between 35.9% and 96.5%. Modelling results suggest that pedestrians tended to compensate for the risks of illegal crossing by forming group and avoiding digital and social distractions (i.e., calling, operating a mobile phone's screen, listening to music, or talking to other pedestrians while crossing). In addition, overpass usage decreased with taller overpasses, but increased with wider overpasses. Effects of gender, weather, and illegal crossing speed on overpass use were also discussed.

publication date

  • 2019