Acceptance of visual and audio interventions for distracted pedestrians

Distraction from mobile devices increases pedestrian risks at intersections. Innovative interventions are currently installed at road and rail intersections to alert pedestrians. These interventions will be effective only if pedestrians modify their behaviour. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) posits that behaviour changes as a result of behavioural intention, which is affected by perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. However, the link between intention and actual behaviour is often overlooked. The current study aims to investigate this link and apply this theoretical framework to interventions for distracted pedestrians. The authors conducted a day-time field study at three railway level crossings in New Zealand with such interventions reminding pedestrians to look for trains: in-ground flashing lights located at footpath level, an audio warning message, and in-ground flashing lights combined with the audio warning message. Participants (N = 34, Mean age 33.6, SD = 8.6 years) walked through level crossings while performing a distractor task (visual and auditory distraction) or when not distracted. Actively checking for trains from both sides of the crossing was used as a measure of actual behaviour. All three interventions were perceived as useful (5.1 ± 0.4) and easy to use (5.6 ± 0.2) and resulted in positive intention to use the technology (5.8 ± 0.3). Statistical analyses confirmed that the TAM constructs - particularly perceived usefulness - affected intention, and intentions lead to behavioural change with improved crossing behaviours. This study highlights the importance of perceived usefulness and intentions to use the interventions with reducing distracted pedestrian behaviours.


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  • Accession Number: 01766173
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 6 2021 3:18PM