An Exploration of Pedestrian Crossing Behaviours in a Two-Lane Street Crossing Simulation

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Arbour, Emilie

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University of Guelph


The current study explored adult pedestrian behaviours while crossing two-lane streets in a fully-immersive virtual reality system. The system automatically recorded pedestrian actions while crossing with a heavy backpack (10% bodyweight) and without. Additionally, the speed and traffic complexity of approaching cars was manipulated. The results revealed no significant effects of wearing a heavy backpack, suggesting that adults may be adapting their crossing behaviours to counteract the risk associated with wearing a backpack. However, the results showed significant effects of car speed, such that when cars were approaching faster, pedestrian’s had less time to safely cross the street which placed them at higher risk of injury. Furthermore, when monitoring two-lanes of traffic, the increase in cognitive demand is causing a change in pedestrians’ crossing behaviours and entry to the car path. Lastly, the small sample of children collected suggest implementation of this study is highly feasible for this population.



pedestrian crossing, behaviour, two-lane street, simulation