Educational interventions successfully reduce pedestrians’ overestimates of their own nighttime visibility

Pedestrians tend to overestimate their own visibility to drivers at night, resulting in common and devastating nighttime collisions between vehicles and pedestrians. This article reports on research that explores the nighttime pedestrian problem from the pedestrian's perspective and evaluates several relatively simple, low-tech, and potentially cost-effective approaches to increasing pedestrian safety at night. Participants in 2 experiments estimated their own nighttime visibility by walking toward a stationary car to the point where they believed they were just recognizable as a pedestrian. Overall, participants failed to appreciate the benefits of reflective clothing and of high-beam illumination. However, participants who had heard a relevant lecture several weeks before the experiment gave estimates that were 10 percent shorter than did a control group. Participants in the second experiment heard a more focused and graphic-intensive lecture and gave estimates that were 56% shorter than the control group. The authors conclude that results from both experiments indicate that educational manipulations can effectively modify pedestrians' estimates of their visibility.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Tyrrell, R A
    • Patton, C W
    • Brooks, J O
  • Publication Date: 2004


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 170-82
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01390519
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 23 2012 4:53AM