The conspicuity of pedestrians at night: A review
Tyrrell, Richard A., Wood, Joanne M., Owens, D. Alfred, Whetsel Borzendowski, Stephanie, & Stafford Sewall, Ashley (2016) The conspicuity of pedestrians at night: A review. Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 99(5), pp. 425-434.
Administrators only until September 2017 | Request a copy from author
Drivers' visual limitations are a leading contributor to night-time traffic crashes involving pedestrians. This paper reviews the basic changes in vision that occur at night for young and old visually healthy drivers, as well as those with common ocular pathology. To maximise their safety at night, pedestrians should be conspicuous. That is, beyond being simply visible (detectable as an ambiguous object), they should attract the attention of drivers and be readily perceivable as pedestrians. Research has established that the conspicuity of pedestrians can be optimised by attaching retroreflective markings to the pedestrian's extremities. Doing so highlights the pedestrian's ‘biological motion,’ which facilitates the accurate perception of a person; however, retroreflective markings on the torso (for example, vests) are less effective. Importantly, behavioural evidence indicates that most road users – drivers and pedestrians alike – are not aware of the limitations of night vision. For example, drivers typically ‘overdrive’ the useful range of their headlight beams and under-use their high beam headlight setting. Further, pedestrians overestimate their own conspicuity at night and fail to appreciate the extent to which their own conspicuity depends on their clothing. The widespread misunderstanding of the challenges associated with night driving reflects a lack of awareness of the fundamental limitations of night vision. Educational interventions are needed to ameliorate these dangerous misunderstandings and to improve the safety of all road users at night.
Impact and interest:
Citation counts are sourced monthly from and citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||driver's vision;night driving;pedestrians|
|Divisions:||Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation|
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2016 John Wiley & Sons Inc|
|Deposited On:||06 Oct 2016 03:06|
|Last Modified:||11 Oct 2016 04:52|
Repository Staff Only: item control page