Pedestrians' estimates of their own visibility: A simple and effective computer-based technique

Department of Psychology, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA.
Journal of safety research (Impact Factor: 1.34). 04/2012; 43(2):101-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsr.2012.01.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Research has shown that both pedestrians and drivers drastically overestimate pedestrians' nighttime visibility (NHSTSA, 2008a, 2008b; Owens & Sivak, 1996) and fail to appreciate the safety benefits of proven conspicuity aids. One solution is educational intervention (Tyrrell, Patton, & Brooks, 2004); however, the on-road assessment of its effectiveness is expensive and time consuming. METHOD: Experiment One introduces a computer-based alternative to the field-based approach, successfully replicating the previous study's trends among 94 students who either receive or do not receive an educational lecture. Experiment Two utilizes the simulation's portability to determine if professional roadway workers have a more accurate understanding of pedestrian conspicuity than students. Results: Results among 88 workers show they do not significantly appreciate the advantages of effective retroflective material configurations or vehicle headlamp settings, for example, any better than non-lectured students in Experiment One. Impact: The study's results demonstrate the need for education among all pedestrians and the benefits of efficient testing methods.

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