Posts Tagged Road crossing

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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Child-pedestrians’ hazard perception abilities – a new publication in TRF

Our new publication “Towards understanding child-pedestrians’ hazard perception abilities in a mixed reality dynamic environment” co-authored by Anat Meir and Yisrael Parmet is now available on Transportation Research part F.

This is our first published study on child pedestrians where we utilized our Dome projection facility.

See also a link to our video about the dome pedestrian simulator facility.

Abstract

Child-pedestrians, especially those in the age range of 5–9-years, are amongst the most vulnerable road users. These youngsters are highly represented in fatal and severe injury road crashes, despite relatively low levels of exposure to traffic. The present research investigated child and adult pedestrians’ perception of hazards utilizing a crossing decision task. Twenty-one adults (20–27 years-old) and twenty-five young-children (eight 7–9-year olds,five 9–10-year-olds and twelve 10–13-year-olds) were requested to observe traffic scene scenarios presented in a mixed reality dynamic environment simulating a typical Israeli city from a pedestrian’s perspective, and to press a response button whenever they assumed it was safe to cross. Results have shown that as pedestrians’ age and experience level increased their attentiveness towards potential hazards increases and their ability to anticipate upcoming events while engaging in a road-crossing task was enhanced. Furthermore, both the 9–10-year-olds and the 10–13-year-olds presented a less decisive performance compared to both the experienced-adult pedestrians and the 7–9-year-olds. Understanding child-pedestrians’ shortcomings in evaluating traffic situations may contribute to the effort of producing intervention techniques which may increase their attentiveness towards potential hazards and pave the way for reducing their over-involvement in road crashes. Implications for training novice road users will be discussed.

Our 3-D environment was specifically designed (B-design) for walking road users, as it provides high level of detail necessary for a walking person (i.e., not the entire urban model is built, the emphasis is on the façade). Using a 180 degrees large dome allows the feeling of immersion.

Top viewChild pedestrian simulation

Eye tracking

A sample of a crossing scenario eye tracking pattern of a young pedestrian can be seen in the following video. Note the amount of time that the child spend viewing the cross walk itself rather than the road. My Ph.D student Hagai Tapiro is responsible for the production of this video.

A young child pedestrian’s eye scanning pattern in a crossing task. BGU pedestrian simulator.

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