HOW WELL CAN CHILD PEDESTRIANS ESTIMATE POTENTIAL TRAFFIC HAZARDS?

An assessment was made of the perception skills and visual cues of schoolchildren in two schools where at least 50% of the children walk to and from school. This study, involving 79 schoolchildren, indicated that their current level of training to cross streets may not be sufficient for the prevalent traffic environments. Schoolchildren in the before-and-after school program were interviewed in July 2001. When shown a photograph of an intersection that was traversed by some of the children, about 90% forgot basic instructions about which directions they should look. Responses varied by gender, age, and school. A surprising 50% of schoolchildren who walked home either alone or accompanied did not know their home address. Of those driven to school, 41% had complete knowledge of their address. This study confirmed earlier findings that children may be overwhelmed by traffic complexity. The average overall score was 11.8 out of 18 (highest achievable score). The percentage of correct responses varied considerably, from less than 30% to the highest at about 50%. Children from the school near the intersections used for assessment performed better than the children who went to school farther away. A two-way average of variance of the overall score by age and school found a significant main effect of age and school. It was Age: F (2, 73) = 5.8, p < 0.004; School: F (1, 73) = 5.6, p < 0.021. More specific studies are warranted, but findings indicate that pedestrian safety education for children needs to offer more individualized and practical training to help them to respond to various hazards they are exposed to daily. More research is necessary pertaining to schoolchildren in urban areas where traffic patterns have become more complex and accommodations for children walking to school have not been modified.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 38-46
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00962825
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309085616
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Sep 10 2003 12:00AM