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Accid Anal Prev. 2017 May;102:41-50. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2017.02.018.

Pedestrian-driver communication and decision strategies at marked crossings.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Palacky University in Olomouc, Krizkovskeho 8, Olomouc 771 80, Czech Republic. Electronic address: matus.sucha@upol.cz.
2
Department of Psychology, Palacky University in Olomouc, Krizkovskeho 8, Olomouc 771 80, Czech Republic.
3
Department of Psychology, Palacky University in Olomouc, Krizkovskeho 8, Olomouc 771 80, Czech Republic; Factum OHG, Danhausergasse 6/4, A-1040 Vienna, Austria,. Electronic address: ralf.risser@factum.at.

Abstract

The aim of this work is to describe pedestrian-driver encounters, communication, and decision strategies at marked but unsignalised crossings in urban areas in the Czech Republic and the ways in which the parties involved experience and handle these encounters. A mixed-methods design was used, consisting of focus groups with pedestrians and drivers regarding their subjective views of the situations, on-site observations, camera recordings, speed measurements, the measurement of car and pedestrian densities, and brief on-site interviews with pedestrians. In close correspondence with the literature, our study revealed that the most relevant predictors of pedestrians' and drivers' behaviour at crossings were the densities of car traffic and pedestrian flows and car speed. The factors which influenced pedestrians' wait/go behaviour were: car speed, the distance of the car from the crossing, traffic density, whether there were cars approaching from both directions, various signs given by the driver (eye contact, waving a hand, flashing their lights), and the presence of other pedestrians. The factors influencing drivers' yield/go behaviour were: speed, traffic density, the number of pedestrians waiting to cross, and pedestrians being distracted. A great proportion of drivers (36%) failed to yield to pedestrians at marked crossings. The probability of conflict situations increased with cars travelling at a higher speed, higher traffic density, and pedestrians being distracted by a different activity while crossing. The findings of this study can add to the existing literature by helping to provide an understanding of the perception of encounter situations by the parties involved and the motives lying behind certain aspects of behaviour associated with these encounters. This seems necessary in order to develop suggestions for improvements. For instance, the infrastructure near pedestrian crossings should be designed in such a way as to take proper account of pedestrians' needs to feel safe and comfortable, as well as ensuring their objective safety. Thus, improvements should include measures aimed at reducing the speed of approaching vehicles (e.g. humps, speed cushions, elevated crossings, early yield bars, and narrow lanes), as this would enhance yielding by motor vehicles. Other measures that specifically rely on the subjective perception of different situations by the parties involved include the education and training of drivers, the aim of which is to promote their understanding and appreciation of pedestrians' needs and motives.

KEYWORDS:

Driver-pedestrian interaction/communication; Pedestrian safety; Pedestrians; Pedestrians’ accidents/collisions; Road-crossing strategies; Zebra crossing

PMID:
28259827
DOI:
10.1016/j.aap.2017.02.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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