Archive for category pedestrians

The effect of environmental distractions on child pedestrian’s crossing behavior

A new publication co-authored by Dr. Hagai Tapiro and Prof. Yisrael Parmet.

So often are we reminded about distraction from devices, cell phones or earphones. Yet, the environment we walk in can also have a detrimental effect on our road crossing safety. In this study we show that:

  • Distractions in the road environment put pedestrians at risk when crossing the road.
  • Pedestrian’s visual attention is affected by the façade of the street.
  • Younger children are at higher risk when distracted.
  • Visual distractions are more detrimental than auditory distractions.

Abstract: Pedestrians are subject to an increasing number of stimuli and distractions derived from the roadside environment. Although the effect of distractions on child road crossing ability was recognized, there has been no systematic exploration of the effects of roadside distractions on child road crossing behavior. This work was aimed at studying the effect of roadside distractions on pedestrian road crossing behavior, focusing on elementary school-aged children, who are less capable of making a safe road crossing decision and are more vulnerable to the effect of distractions. Three types of audio distractions (a. sudden, momentary, and prominent noise, b. multiplicity of auditory elements, and c. continuous loud noise) and similar three types of visual distractions were pre-defined. Fifty-two children (aged 7–13) and adults arrived at the dome virtual reality laboratory and viewed 20 simulated crossing scenarios, embedded with visual and auditory distractions, and decided on the appropriate time to start crossing the virtual road. The results demonstrate that when exposed to environmental distractions, participants chose smaller crossing gaps, took more time to make crossing decisions, were slower to respond to the crossing opportunity, and allocated less visual attention to the peripheral regions of the road. Those effects were age related, and affected younger participants more significantly. Furthermore, visual distractions affected pedestrian behavior more than auditory type distractions. This study highlights an issue not yet adequately addressed, and the results should be considered by transportation professionals, and road safety educators, so better road safety programs to educate children can be created.

Link to the manuscript: Anyone clicking on this link before May 19, 2018 will be taken directly to the final version of your article on ScienceDirect. No sign up, registration or fees are required – they can simply click and read.
https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1Wobl3IVV9Z8ir

 

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Pedestrians’ road crossing decisions and body parts’ movements is now available online

the final version of your article Pedestrians’ road crossing decisions and body parts’ movements is now available online, containing full bibliographic details.

https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1WVHK4tTwCVB7W

See details in this post

 

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Pedestrians’ road crossing decisions and body parts’ movements

A new publication in TR part F by Semyon Kalantarov, Raziel Riemer, and Tal Oron-Gilad.

Highlights:

  • Road-crossing simulator synched with a 3D motion capturing system was built
  • Time pressure and longer wait times cause riskier crossing decisions
  • Pedestrians adjusted posture, crossing speed and timing of crossing to the risk taken
  • Body parts’ movement prior to the crossing can be divided into four increments

In this study we examined pedestrians’ crossing decision, body parts’ movement and full body movement, just before and during road crossing in a simulated setup. To accomplish this, a novel experimental setup for analyzing pedestrians’ crossing behavior and motion was developed where the simulated display was synchronized with a 3D motion capturing system. Twenty participants, divided into control and an experimental time pressure group, observed sixteen short (less than 30 seconds) and long road (70 seconds or more) crossing scenarios with varying crossing opportunities. Based on the crossing opportunities they were asked to cross a 3.6 m wide one-lane one way urban road. It was found that the crossing initiation process consists of four incremental movements of body parts: the head and the shoulder first; the hip, wrist and elbow second; the knee as a separate joint, and finally the ankle. Results showed that pedestrians’ decision to cross and body parts movement are influenced by time pressure and wait time for a safe crossing opportunity. Specifically, pedestrians prepare their body parts earlier, initiate their crossing earlier, and adjust their speed to compensate for the risk taken in less safe or non-safe crossing opportunities. Within the control group, women tended to be more risk avoiding than men, however those differences disappeared in the time pressure group. Most importantly, the findings provide initial evidence that this novel simulation configuration can be used to gain precise knowledge of pedestrians’ decision-making and movement processes.

What did we learn about pedestrians crossing movement?
Pedestrians change their strategy as a function of internal and external reasons:

  • Take higher risk when crossing opportunities are sparse or when they are under time pressure
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Initiate crossing, Kalantarov, Riemer, and Oron-Gilad for TRF

  • Prepare their movement in advance by adjusting body position
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body parts movement, Kalantarov, Riemer, and Oron-Gilad for TRF

  • Change the timing of crossing as a function of perceived risk
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timing of crossing, Kalantarov, Riemer, and Oron-Gilad for TRF

  • Adjust their crossing speed to the perceived risk
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walking speed, Kalantarov, Riemer, and Oron-Gilad for TRF

Kalantarov, S. , Riemer, R., Oron-Gilad, T. (in press). Pedestrians’ road crossing decisions and body parts’ movements. Transportation Research Part F: Psychology and Behaviour.

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Child Pedestrians’ perceived risk of the crossing place

We are excited to present our studies in the 10th University Transportation Centers Spotlight Conference on Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety to be held December 1-2 ,2016 in the Keck Center, Washington DC.

Here is a link to a short description of the BGU pedestrian laboratory.pedestrian-lab-brochure and to a short brief about the work we are presenting (Child Pedestrians’ perceived risk of the crossing place).

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Cell phone conversations and child pedestrian’s crossing behavior; a simulator study

This is our most recent publication, accepted for publication in Safety Science.

Please cite this article in press as: Tapiro, H., et al. Cell phone conversations and child pedestrian’s crossing behavior; a simulator study. Safety Sci. (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2016.05.013

Cell phone conversations and child pedestrian’s crossing behavior; a simulator study

Hagai Tapiro, Yisrael Parmet and Tal Oron-Gilad

Abstract

Child pedestrians are highly represented in fatal and severe road crashes and differ in their crossing behavior from adults. Although many children carry cell phones, the effect that cell phone conversations have on children’s crossing behavior has not been thoroughly examined. A comparison of children and adult pedestrians’ crossing behavior while engaged in cell phone conversations was conducted. In a semi-immersive virtual environment simulating a typical city, 14 adults and 38 children (11 children aged 7-8; 18 aged 9-10 and 9 aged 11-13), experienced road crossing related traffic-scene scenarios. They were requested to press a response button whenever they felt it was safe to cross. Eye movements were tracked. Results have shown that all age groups’ crossing behaviors were affected by cell phone conversations. When busy with more cognitively demanding conversation types, participants were slower to react to a crossing opportunity, chose smaller crossing gaps, and allocated less visual attention to the peripheral regions of the scene. The ability to make better crossing decisions improved with age, but no interaction with cell phone conversation type was found. The most prominent improvement was shown in ‘safety gap’; each age group maintained a longer gap than its predecessor younger age group. In accordance to the current study, it is safe to say that cell phone conversations can hinder child and adult pedestrians’ safety. Thereby, it is important to take those findings in account when aiming to train young pedestrians for road-safety and increase public awareness.

Interested in seeing an interactive visualization app of our data?https://eyemove.shinyapps.io/cell-phone/

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Interactive app to view the eye gaze data. Click on the link and follow the instructions shown above.

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Validation study: Dome Pedestrian Simulator

Abstract

Here we report upon results of a validation study conducted on our unique pedestrian simulator.

 

The simulator validation study confirms the simulator’s ability to correctly simulate the real road environment, and strengthens the reliability as a source for statistical Inference. The goal of this work was to investigate whether the Dome simulator successfully simulates typical pedestrian environment in a manner that will elicit people to act in the same manner as they would in the real world crossing situations. Data analysis shows that the simulator delivers more reliable results concerning speeds rather than distances. Questionnaires analyses show that the simulator’s faith to reality regarding the display, sound effect and perspective is medium.

dome-tapiro-and-oron-gilad

 

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Are child-pedestrians able to identify hazardous traffic situations?

One more publication within the child pedestrian’s realm of road crossing co-authored by Anat Meir and Yisrael Parmet published in  Safety Science, Vol. 80, pages 33-40 (2015)

Are Child pedestrians able to identify hazardous traffic situations?

Highlights

we explored child-pedestrians’ HP skills employing hazard detection task in virtual settings (our Dome lab). We used the same approach that we have used previously in the driving HP domain to study novice drivers. As pedestrians’ age increased their awareness toward potential hazards increased.  7–9-year-olds reported less instances of FOV obscured by parked vehicles. 7–9-year-olds lingered more in identifying instances of FOV obscured by parked vehicles.

Abstract

Background. Child-pedestrians are more prone to fail in identifying hazardous situations. Aiming to better understand the development of hazard-perception abilities in dynamic road situations we examined participants’ hazard detection abilities in a virtual environment.

Method.  Experienced-adult participants and child-pedestrians observed typical road crossing related scenarios from a pedestrian’s point of view and engaged in a hazard detection task.

Results. Consistent with our hypotheses, less instances of obscured field of view by parked vehicles were reported as hazardous by 7–9-year-olds, who were also prone to linger more in identifying situations depicting field of view partially obscured by parked vehicles compared to all other age groups. Reports of obscured field of view by road curvature as hazardous increased with age.

Conclusions. Understanding child-pedestrians’ shortcomings in evaluating traffic situations contribute to the effort of producing intervention techniques which may increase their attentiveness toward potential hazards and lead toward reduction in their over-involvement in crashes.

Pedestrians' crossing scenarios

Traffic scenes for pedestrian crossing (only the left part of the scene is shown). Top: no moving elements, Mid: road curvature obscuring FOV, Bottom: Parked vehicles obscuring FOV.

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