You may be surprised to find that data collected from the National Safety Council suggests drivers are more likely to stop for pedestrians crossing the street if the pedestrian is smiling.
This may come as a surprise some, especially to pedestrians who live in the five boroughs and know better than most how dangerous city streets can be for pedestrians, regardless of their facial expression. A vast number of pedestrian injuries occur when drivers make blatant errors, like jumping the curb or failing to yield for a traffic sign. So how does smiling tie into pedestrian safety?
In recent years pedestrian distraction has become a major issue in New York and across the world. Everyday distracted pedestrians cause injury to either themselves or others. So while practicing smiling as you cross a street may encourage drivers to pause while you cross, it actually does much more than that. Remembering to smile as you cross is a way of being present; your focus will shift from your phone and other distractions where it should be, safety navigating the traffic in front of you.
What do you think? Could more smiling pedestrians result in safer roadways?