Effects of experience with retroreflectors on recognition of nighttime pedestrians: comparison of driver performance in Finland and Michigan

Juha Luoma, Merja Penttinen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional

    17 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This field study replicated a recent experiment by Luoma, Schumann and Traube [(1996) Effects of retroreflector positioning on nighttime recognition of pedestrians. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 28, 377-383.] on the effects of retroreflector positioning on nighttime recognition of pedestrians. The key difference between the two studies was that Finnish drivers who have substantial experience with different pedestrian retroreflectors were used in the present study, while Michigan drivers—whose experience with pedestrian retroreflectors is more limited—were used in the previous study. The subject’s task was to press a response button whenever he recognized a pedestrian on or alongside the road, while in a car, with low-beam lamps on, that was driven on a dark road. The results showed that the main effects were the same as found in the previous study. Specifically, the retroreflective markings attached to the limbs led to significantly longer recognition distances than when the retroreflective markings were attached to the torso, and a pedestrian was more recognizable while crossing the road than while approaching the subject vehicle. However, the differences between the recognition distances produced by the various retroreflector configurations were smaller in Finland than in Michigan, and the Finnish subjects more frequently responded incorrectly.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)47-58
    JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
    Volume1
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1998
    MoE publication typeD1 Article in a trade journal

    Keywords

    • pedestrians
    • conspicuity
    • driver performance
    • cross-cultural

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