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Study: Nearly Half Of Pedestrians Distracted While Crossing Busy Manhattan Intersections

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York City is a busy place, and one new study says it's so busy that just under half of pedestrians are paying more attention to their smartphones than to where they're walking.

Elyse told 1010 WINS' Derricke Dennis she sees it happen every day.

"Yea, absolutely. People are obsessed with their phones," she said. "Your Instagram or your Facebook or your emails are not that important. Your life is more important than your email."

Study: Nearly Half Of Pedestrians Distracted By Devices While Crossing Busy Manhattan Intersections

The study by William Paterson University says the intersections of 34th Street and Sixth, Seventh and Eighth avenues as well as 42nd Street at Sixth and Eighth avenues are where you will find some of the most distracted pedestrians in the city.

Daniel told Dennis he knows why.

"People are so stuck in their electrical devices instead of actually going out and meeting people, they'd rather go online," he said.

Study: Nearly Half Of Pedestrians Distracted While Crossing Busy Manhattan Intersections

According to Dr. Corey Basch, earphones and emails have become hazards for New York City pedestrians.

"We observed over 20,000 pedestrians at five different intersections," she told WCBS 880's Monica Miller.

Basch is an associate professor of public health at the university. She said the study observed several light changes at different times of the day. One-third of the people were distracted when they had the right of way.

"During the don't walk signal, we found that 50 percent of those were darting across during the don't walk were actually distracted," Basch said.

New York City isn't the only place facing this problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said pedestrian fatalities are on the rise across the country.

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