Age groups differences in evaluating the safety of crossing locations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Urban environments pose greater risks on pedestrians. It has been shown that built areas like commercial sites and school zones, have higher association with pedestrians-vehicular collisions. Yet, limited behavioral investigations were done to reveal the contributing factors (e.g., road side distractions) to the higher rates of collisions in specific urban areas. Therefore, it was aimed to examine how environmental factors influence adult and child pedestrians’ perception of the road crossing environment, and reveal what guides pedestrians when
evaluating the safety of a crossing location. Thirteen adults and 16 children (aged 7-10) viewed 18 fixed virtual road crossing scenes in a Dome simulator from a pedestrians point of view and were asked to rate the safety of
each location. Then, they were asked to classify 15 road crossing scenes from the pool into groups based on perceived similarity. Results indicate that children aged 7-10 experience the crossing environment in a different manner than adults. They attend to specific objects in the scene or to the presence of vehicles rather than to strategic level information related to the crossing decision. The older children group (aged 9-10) demonstrated higher abilities to evaluate the road environment than the younger (aged 7-8) group. The number of environmental distractors in the scene was found to have a negative effect on safety perceptions for all participants. Children’s poorer ability to evaluate the crossing location can bias their crossing decision and should raise concerns about their ability to make successful road crossing decisions on their own.
Original languageEnglish GB
Title of host publicationRoad Safety and Simulation International Conference
StatePublished - 2017


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