Children are overrepresented in road accidents, often due to their limited ability to perform well in road crossing tasks. The present study examined children's visual search strategies in hazardous road-crossing situations. A sample of 33 young participants (ages 7-13) and 21 adults observed 18 different road-crossing scenarios in a 180 dome shaped mixed reality simulator. Gaze data was collected while participants made the crossing decisions. That was used to characterize their visual scanning strategies. Results showed that age group, limited field of view, and the presence of moving vehicles affect the way pedestrians allocate their attention in the scene. Therefore, we can deduce that adults tend to spend relatively more time in further peripheral areas of interest than younger pedestrians do. It was also found that the oldest child age group (11-13) demonstrated more resemblance to the adults in their visual scanning strategy, which can indicate a learning process that originates from gaining experience and maturation. Characterization of child pedestrian eye movements can be used to determine readiness for independence as pedestrians. The results of this study emphasize the differences among age groups in terms of visual scanning. This information can contribute to promote awareness and training programs.
|Journal||Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society|
|State||Published - 2013|