Aging road user, bicyclist, and pedestrian safety : effective bicycling signs and preventing left-turn crashes.
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Aging road user, bicyclist, and pedestrian safety : effective bicycling signs and preventing left-turn crashes.

Filetype[PDF-1.86 MB]

  • English

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      Task 1 of this report drivers' knowledge of various bicycle warning signs and pavement markings were assessed. In general knowledge was high. Share the Road and Three Foot Minimum signs were generally more quickly understood and recognized in versions of the sign depicting a sideways view of a bicycle rather than a rear view of a bicyclist/bicycle. Tests with blurred versions of these signs also suggested a legibility advantage for signs depicting a sideways view of a bicycle. In task 2, a simulator study was used to explore whether these differences in comprehension/recognition/legibility had an impact on driver behavior. Drivers navigated a simulated route in which they passed bicyclists riding singly or in groups. Sometimes bicyclists were located within a bike lane, and sometimes a bike lane was not present. The main findings were: (1) drivers generally passed bicyclists with care, allowing clearance much greater than three feet, (2) groups of bicyclists were given more clearance compared to single bicyclists, (3) passing distances were smaller in the presence of oncoming traffic, (4) passing distances were smaller when a bike lane was present, (5) the type of sign and the presence of a sign with the message to give bicyclists at least three feet of clearance did not impact passing distances, and (6) age did not have a significant impact on passing distances. Task 3 examined whether decreased negative offset (minimal offset) left-turn lanes provided a safety advantage to drivers of all ages. Drivers first completed a gap judgment task in the driving simulator. Participants also drove a simulated route and were asked to make turns at intersections featuring a minimal or large negative offset. Findings were: (1) no differences between minimal and negative offsets were observed in gap judgment task, (2) younger adults tolerated smaller gaps in traffic compared to older adults, and (3) the minimal offset resulted in a benefit in the turn execution task; turns were executed in such a way that the distance between the drivers' cars and oncoming traffic was larger compared to the negative offset condition.
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