TRCLC 14-4

Conditions that Influence Drivers’ Yielding Behavior at Uncontrolled Crossings and Intersections with Traffic Signal Controls 

  • PIs: Robert Emerson – Western Michigan University
  • Project Period: July 1, 2014 – August 1, 2015 (12 months)

There is a dearth of studies on how pedestrian who are blind might positively influence driver yielding in different travel situations.  This project will assess common pedestrian behaviors (head turning, holding a cane, taking a step, holding up a hand, exaggerated cane movement, standing without a cane) on yielding rate for right turning traffic at lighted intersections as well as at entry and exit lanes at roundabouts.  Each pedestrian behavior will be exhibited by a blind pedestrian in each travel situation to determine yielding rate.  Sites will include a range of urban cities within Michigan.  Data will demonstrate how common head and gaze related behaviors compare to previous results on cane and larger body movements impact yielding.  By collecting data at both lighted intersections and roundabouts, we will be able to assess relative merits of pedestrian behaviors for free flowing and stopped traffic.  The outcomes will have major implications for O&M instruction.  Orientation and mobility instructors will have definitive suggestions for blind pedestrians in how they can behave to reduce risk in some of the most risky travel situations.  There is also a huge potential benefit for pedestrians who are both deaf and blind.  These pedestrians often cannot reliably see or hear traffic and so must rely on their behavior to consistently impact traffic in a set manner.