Towards understanding child-pedestrians' hazard perception abilities in a mixed reality dynamic environment Academic Article uri icon

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.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013