Posts Tagged pedestrian

The perception of pedestrians by elderly (65+) and mature (28+ with more than 10 years of driving experience) drivers

This is a new publication related to hazard perception among elderly drivers. We compared HP abilities using a driving simulator and the video observation technique. As much as the simulator graphic language allowed, our simulated scenarios were replications of the observed video scenes, as shown in the examples below.

Figure 3

Snapshot examples of scenarios in the video observation technique

Figure 4

Snapshot examples of scenarios in the simultor.

To read more see:

Bromberg, S., Oron-Gilad T., Ronen, A., Borowsky, A. and Parmet Y. (in press), The perception of pedestrians from the perspective of elderly-Experienced and Experienced drivers Accident Analysis and Prevention, 2010.

We examined hazard perception (HP) abilities among elderly-experienced and experienced drivers, with regard to the presence of pedestrians in residential areas. Two evaluation methods were used; a) observation of traffic scene videos and pressing a button when a hazardous situation was identified, and b) driving in a driving simulator. The results of the video observation method showed that elderly drivers had a longer response time for hazard detection. In addition, four of the eight pedestrian-related events were difficult for elderly drivers to perceive when compared to experienced drivers. Elderly drivers, shown to have limited useful field of view, may also be limited in their ability to detect hazards, particularly when located away from the center of the screen. Results from the simulator drive showed that elderly drivers drove about 20% slower than experienced drivers, possibly being aware of their deficiencies in detecting hazards and slower responses. Authorities should be aware of these limitations and increase elderly drivers’ awareness to pedestrians by posting traffic signs or dedicated lane marks that inform them of potential upcoming hazards.

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A Dome Projection Platform to study Pedestrian Behavior

Did you know:

  • Pedestrian road crashes are amongst the most substantial causes of death, injury and long-term disability among children, particularly among those in the age range of 5-to 9 years
  • Negotiating traffic requires a variety of cognitive and perceptual skills.  When those skills are not properly developed, pedestrians road-related decisions will probably be inadequate
  • Young children are less competent in traffic than adults
  • A large proportion of traffic injuries occur while children are walking to or from school
  • Elementary-school children cross the road without adults’ accompaniment, especially when coming back from school
  • Prohibiting children under the age of 9 from crossing the road alone is not sufficient for reducing their over-involvement in pedestrian crashes

Towards understanding child-pedestrian’s deficits in perceiving hazards when crossing the road

Together with my colleague David Shinar and two graduate students Anat Meir and Hagai Tapiro we are  in the process of developing a platform to study how children at various ages perceive hazards and dangers in the traffic environment. We have developed an experimental platform that mimics a typical Israeli urban environment.

A Dome projection facility

  • Integrates the natural visual and motor skills of a person into the environment
  • Large enough to have participants immersed within its circumference
  • Physical movement can be added to improve simulation fidelity
  • Our dome is a 180 degrees projection facility (6.5 meters in diameter with 3-D perception projection system) it is temperature and noise controlled
  • A verity of measurement (including eye tracking) and recording systems are available



  • for such a facility to be useful it must project a typical urban environment that resembles reality with the appropriate level of resolution and level of detail
  • A 3-d model database of a typical Israeli urban area was developed (the database was generated by bdesign and is run on the MAK VR-Forces/VR-Vantage platform)
  • Typical crossing scenarios are now being designed

So here I am proudly standing in the dome room and here’s Hagai in the control room.


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Drivers’ perception of pedestrian in urban areas

Statistical databases often distinguish between accidents with pedestrian-injuries in urban and inter-city areas. Obviously, conflicting situations involving pedestrians are more typical in urban areas and less common in intercity areas. Nevertheless, the urban environment itself is not unified. There are variations in its characteristics; some of its roads are located inside residential neighborhoods and are more populated with pedestrians while other urban roads are located beyond residential neighborhoods and are less populated with pedestrians. Specifically, it is not clear whether differences in pedestrian expectancies can be exemplified in within-neighborhood residential roads and between-neighborhood urban roads. In our new publications we used the results of a Hazard Perception Test (HPT) to examine differences in drivers’ response to pedestrian-related events in urban and residential areas.

This  new publication will appear soon in a special issue dedicated to vulnerable road users (VRUs) in Accident analysis and prevention (David Shinar, guest editor). Look for:  Borowsky, A., Oron-GIlad,T. , Meir, A. & Parmet, Y. (in press). Drivers perception of vulnerable road users: A hazard perception approach, Accident Analysis and Prevention. Accepted November 2010.


The present study examined how experienced and young-inexperienced drivers (either trained in hazard perception or not) respond to and identify pedestrians when they appear in residential roads within populated neighborhoods and in urban roads located outside neighborhoods and usually less populated. As part of a hazard perception test, participants were connected to an eye tracking system and were asked to observe 58 traffic scene movies and press a response button each time they detected a hazardous situation. Analyzing all pedestrian-related events revealed that, regardless of driving experience or training, drivers detect pedestrians less often when they appear in urban areas and more often when they appear in residential areas. In addition, drivers had shorter fixations when fixating on pedestrians in residential areas. Moreover, experienced drivers processed information more efficiently than young-inexperienced drivers (both trained and untrained) when pedestrians were identified. Visual search patterns in urban and residential traffic environments are discussed.

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