Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users in the traffic system and thousands of pedestrians are injured or killed globally as a result of traffic crashes every year. With their popularity and enriched functions, mobile phones are playing an increasingly important role in people’s lives, and records of vehicle crashes involving pedestrians have shown the hazards caused by distraction of mobile phone use, especially in the context of crossing the street. The present study employed the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to investigate the behavior of using a mobile phone while crossing the street in China. An online questionnaire based on the TPB framework was developed to collect data, and 387 eligible samples were retained after inspection. Mobile phone use while crossing the street is prevalent in China (i.e., 53%). The results show that three standard TPB constructs (i.e., attitudes, intention and perceived behavioral control) emerged as significant predictors of the behavior of using mobile phone while crossing, and two extended constructs (i.e., situation, mobile phone involvement) also significantly predicted the behavior. In addition, for this population, intention was the strongest predictor of the behavior among these significant constructs. Moreover, the results were discussed and compared with some existing studies and safety interventions were also provided.
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