Reduced sensitivity to visual looming inflates the risk posed by speeding vehicles when children try to cross the road
Wann, John P., Poulter, Damian R. and Purcell, Catherine (2011) Reduced sensitivity to visual looming inflates the risk posed by speeding vehicles when children try to cross the road. Psychological Science, 22 (4). pp. 429-434. ISSN 0956-7976 (Print), 1467-9280 (Online) (doi:10.1177/0956797611400917)
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Almost all locomotor animals respond to visual looming or to discrete changes in optical size. The need to detect and process looming remains critically important for humans in everyday life. Road traffic statistics confirm that children up to 15 years old are overrepresented in pedestrian casualties. We demonstrate that, for a given pedestrian crossing time, vehicles traveling faster loom less than slower vehicles, which creates a dangerous illusion in which faster vehicles may be perceived as not approaching. Our results from perceptual tests of looming thresholds show strong developmental trends in sensitivity, such that children may not be able to detect vehicles approaching at speeds in excess of 20 mph. This creates a risk of injudicious road crossing in urban settings when traffic speeds are higher than 20 mph. The risk is exacerbated because vehicles moving faster than this speed are more likely to result in pedestrian fatalities.
|Additional Information:|| Published online before print March 9, 2011. Published in Psychological Science, April 2011, vol. 22, no. 4.  Citation: John P. Wann, Damian R. Poulter, and Catherine Purcell. Reduced Sensitivity to Visual Looming Inflates the Risk Posed by Speeding Vehicles When Children Try to Cross the Road. Psychological Science April 2011 22: 429-434, first published on March 9, 2011. doi:10.1177/0956797611400917. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.  Supplemental Material: Additional supporting information may be found at http://pss .sagepub.com/content/by/supplemental-data.|
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||vision, detection, looming, children, road, safety, time to contact, tau, perception, development|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology|
|School / Department / Research Groups:||School of Health & Social Care|
School of Health & Social Care > Department of Psychology & Counselling
|Last Modified:||14 May 2013 12:43|
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