The effect of traffic flow improvements on driver attitudes towards pavement markings and other traffic control devices and pedestrian safety

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Assad A Tavakoli
David C Robinson

The author notes that many drivers today, especially those outside of major metropolitan areas, have not ever been pedestrians in the usual way. They may walk to their cars or through parking lots to mall entrances, but they rarely walk on public streets. Since they are not used to being pedestrians, many of them do not know how to behave towards pedestrians when they are behind the wheel of a car. In addition, some of the current traffic flow improvements provide the driver with more choices to make, sometimes leaving the pedestrian to the bottom choice. Right turn on red laws and arrows (and in some states left turn on red is permitted) frequently encourage the pedestrians to race for the curb in order to avoid being hit by the turning vehicle. Radios, cell phones, on board computers, and other amenities available in today's cars further distract the drivers from paying attention to pedestrian pavement markings and the pedestrians in them.

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