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Do advance yield markings increase safe driver behaviors at unsignalized, marked midblock crosswalks? Driving simulator study

TitleDo advance yield markings increase safe driver behaviors at unsignalized, marked midblock crosswalks? Driving simulator study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsGómez R, Samuel S, Gerardino L, Romoser M, Collura J, Knodler J.Michael A, Fisher DL
JournalTransportation Research Record
Volume2264
Start Page27
Pagination27-33
Date Published02/2012
Abstract

In the United States, 78% of pedestrian crashes occur at noninter-section crossings. As a result, unsignalized, marked midblock crosswalks are prime targets for remediation. Many of these crashes occur under sight-limited conditions in which the view of critical information by the driver or pedestrian is obstructed by a vehicle stopped in an adjacent travel or parking lane on the near side of the crosswalk. Study of such a situation on the open road is much too risky, but study of the situation in a driving simulator is not. This paper describes the development of scenarios with sight limitations to compare potential vehicle-pedestrian conflicts on a driving simulator under conditions with two different types of pavement markings. Under the first condition, advance yield markings and symbol signs (prompts) that indicated "yield here to pedestrians" were used to warn drivers of pedestrians at marked, midblock crosswalks. Under the second condition, standard crosswalk treatments and prompts were used to warn drivers of these hazards. Actual crashes as well as the drivers' point of gaze were measured to determine if the drivers approaching a marked midblock crosswalk looked for pedestrians in the crosswalk more frequently and sooner in high-risk scenarios when advance yield markings and prompts were present than when standard markings and prompts were used. Fewer crashes were found to occur with advance yield markings. Drivers were also found to look for pedestrians much more frequently and much sooner with advance yield markings. The advantages and limitations of the use of driving simulation to study problems such as these are discussed.

DOI10.3141/2264-04