Most Drivers Fail To See Bicyclists And Pedestrians When Turning Right

August 10, 2018

Dreamstime

Driving requires your full attention, but are we really giving it? For instance, when we are at a stop sign or turning left or right, are we distracted? Apparently many of us are in pedestrians and bicyclists are the victims. Researchers used eye-tracking equipment on drivers to see where they were looking as they turned at an intersection. All drivers had more than three years of driving experience, and all were instructed to make a right turn at a signalized four-way intersection onto a main road, and again a right turn at an T-intersection with no stop sign or traffic light leading to a smaller road-- both in a busy, urban environment. The data showed nearly 3/4 of drivers failed to look at an area of importance, where cyclists would be located as well as where pedestrians would be located, before turning. Bicyclist were missed by drivers not making frequent over-the-shoulder checks for cyclists and drivers only looking left when making a right turn and missing the pedestrian (properly walking against traffic) on the right side of the vehicle. In addition, there were more failures turning onto the main road due to parked vehicles blocking their views of the bike lane, and attention failures were more likely for those who drove frequently in that area in their day-to-day lives. The conclusion of the study suggest changes to road infrastructure is needed to improve traffic safety, and to remind bicyclist and pedestrians to assume that drivers aren't seeing you. Not necessarily because they're bad drivers, but that their attention is too divided. When crossing a street, your assumption should be that the car doesn't see you.

SOURCE: EurekaAlert

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