Crossing Roads Safely: An Experimental Study of Age Differences in Gap Selection by Pedestrians

Making decision about when it is safe to cross a road in relation to available traffic gaps is a complex everyday task that implicates sensory, perceptual, cognitive and executive functions. The abilities to perceive and integrate speed and distance information of approaching vehicles accurately and to select a gap large enough, taking account of any physical limitations, are crucial components of safe road crossing. The paper reports on two experiments that investigated age differences in the ability to choose safe time gaps in traffic in a simulated road crossing task as well as some of the factors involved in such judgements. The study participants involve three groups: 18 younger adults aged between 30 and 45 years, 18 young-old adults aged between 60 and 69 years , and 18 old-old adults aged 75 years and over. The results demonstrated that, for all age groups, gap selection was primarily based on vehicle distance and less so on time of arrival. The results also confirmed that older adults made risky crossing decisions.


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  • Accession Number: 01004183
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Sep 19 2005 12:02PM