September 2016
Volume 57, Issue 12
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Retro-reflective clothing enhances judgment of pedestrian walking direction at night-time
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alex A Black
    School of Optometry & Vision Science, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia
  • Vu Bui
    School of Optometry & Vision Science, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia
  • Emily Henry
    School of Optometry & Vision Science, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia
  • Khuong Ho
    School of Optometry & Vision Science, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia
  • Diana Pham
    School of Optometry & Vision Science, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia
  • Tuyen Tran
    School of Optometry & Vision Science, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia
  • Joanne M Wood
    School of Optometry & Vision Science, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Alex Black, None; Vu Bui, None; Emily Henry, None; Khuong Ho, None; Diana Pham, None; Tuyen Tran, None; Joanne Wood, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2016, Vol.57, 1507. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      Alex A Black, Vu Bui, Emily Henry, Khuong Ho, Diana Pham, Tuyen Tran, Joanne M Wood; Retro-reflective clothing enhances judgment of pedestrian walking direction at night-time. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):1507.

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      © 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

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Abstract

Purpose : Fatal pedestrian collisions are over-represented at night and poor conspicuity is believed to be a leading cause of these incidents. Retro-reflective clothing has been used to enhance conspicuity, particularly when placed in a biological motion or "biomotion" configuration. This study explored how various retro-reflective configurations affect drivers' judgment of pedestrian walking direction which is critical for predicting the likelihood of a pedestrian entering the roadway and how these relate to self-reported confidence in their judgments.

Methods : Participants included 21 visually normal licensed drivers (M=21.3±0.4 years). Visual function was measured in a laboratory-based session, followed by a second session conducted at night-time on a closed road circuit. The impact of five different clothing configurations (one without and four with retro-reflective materials) on the accuracy of judging the direction of walking of a pedestrian located 135m ahead, was assessed for participants seated in a stationary vehicle with low beam headlamps. Participants indicated the direction of pedestrian motion (towards the car, straight across the road, or away from the car) and self-rated their confidence for each response (0% least confident to 100% most confident).

Results : The accuracy in judging the direction of pedestrian motion differed significantly across the five different pedestrian clothing configurations (p<0.001). The highest response accuracy was for the biomotion configuration (80% correct), followed by legs and torso (64%), torso only (53%), legs only (50%), and without any retro-reflective material (33%). Self-reported confidence correlated poorly with the accuracy of participants' responses. An overall pre and post-experiment rating of confidence for judging pedestrian direction of motion also showed significant changes, where post-experiment confidence was better aligned with ability to correctly judge pedestrian walking direction.

Conclusions : The biomotion clothing configuration facilitated the highest accuracy in judgment of pedestrian walking direction compared to other configurations involving fewer highlighted joints. Confidence ratings were a poor indicator of accurate responses. Importantly, the change in self-reported overall confidence following participation in the experiment suggests there is merit for the implementation of this type of approach as a road safety educational tool.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.

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