Posts Tagged Pedestrians
|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:
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.
the final version of your article Pedestrians’ road crossing decisions and body parts’ movements is now available online, containing full bibliographic details.
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
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/
We have just completed this study. Analysis of results and full report are being prepared.
The objective of the research is to lay the foundations for examining whether training child-pedestrians’ HP skills while crossing a road may improve their ability to perceive potentially hazardous situations and to predict hazards prior to their materialization.
- A first step in developing a training program is to form understanding of child-pedestrians’ traffic behavior patterns. Comparing adults and children provides a depiction of what elements in the traffic environment are crucial for the road-crossing task.
- In the present study, children and adults participant in a two-phase experiment. They observe typical urban scenarios (see Figure 1) from a pedestrian’s point of view (see Figure 2) and a required to: (1) Press a response button each time they feel it is safe to cross. (2) Describe the features that they perceive as relevant for a safe road-crossing decision, i.e., the conceptual model each group of pedestrians has. Participants’ eye-movements were recorded throughout the experiment utilizing a helmet mounted tracker (Model H6-HS, Eyetrack 6000).
- To achieve this a three dimensional database of a prototypical Israeli city was built in cooperation with b.design (http://www.b-d.co.il/) , a leading provider of 3-D content. Cars, trees, billboards and various other urban elements were also designed uniquely for this environment. Using the VR-Vantage and VR-Forces different scenarios were developed to examine crossing behavior at various conditions.
Figure 1. The generic city simulated environment presented in the Dome setting (it looks a bit awkward here because its intended to be projected on a dome screen). The Field of View is: (1) Unrestricted (above); (2) Partially obscured by the road’s curvature (middle); (3) Partially obscured by parked vehicles (below).
Figure 2. Simulated environment from a child-pedestrian’s point of view.
- Pedestrian road crashes cause death, injury and disability among children. Five to nine year old children endure ~four times the injury rate of adults, in spite of their lower exposure to traffic.
- Practical training can lead to improvements in children’s crossing skills, e.g., the ability to make roadside timing judgments (Demetre et al., 1992), plan safe routes (Thomson et al., 1992) and cross safely at junctions (Rothengatter, 1984).
A first step in developing a training program is to form understanding of children traffic behavior patterns, e.g., when and where do children cross? What are they looking out for before crossing? etc.
Comparing adults and children provides a depiction of what elements in the traffic environment are crucial for the road crossing task.
- In the present study, children and adults participate in a two-phase experiment. They observe typical urban scenarios from the point of view of pedestrians and are asked to:
- Describe the features that they perceive as relevant for crossing the road safely, i.e., the conceptual model each group has.
- Press a button or ‘step off a curb’ each time they think it is safe to cross.
- Eye movements are recorded using a helmet mounted tracker, as shown in the Trailer.
Demetre, J.D. & S. Gaffin, S. (1994). The salience of occluding vehicles to child pedestrians, British Journal of Educational Psychology, 64, 243–251.
Rothengatter, J.A. (1984). A behavioral approach to improving traffic behaviour of young children. Ergonomics 27 (1984), pp. 147–160.
Thomson, J.A., Tolmie, A., Foot, H.C. & McLaren, B. (1996). Child Development and the Aims of Road Safety Education. Road Safety Research Report No. 1. London: HMSO.