Fear and danger appraisals of a road-crossing scenario: A developmental perspective

T. Rosenbloom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Children's actual performance of visual timing task is possibly deficient, and road-crossing training programs focusing on visual timing elements result in questionable improvement in performance. The present study focused on conceptual, rather than perceptual, examination of the visual timing elements of distance and speed, as integrated into appraisals of risks related to a traffic scenario. Preschool children, third-grade children and adults appraised pedestrian fear and danger associated with four scenarios conceptually depicted using a table-top model. Each scenario described either a child or an adult pedestrian approached by a vehicle at various distances (near/far) and speeds (slow/fast). Results suggest that whereas the adult subjects integrated the danger and fear appraisals by giving separate weights to both distance and speed concepts, preschoolers failed to properly realize the danger associated with speed, and third-graders failed to integrate both concepts in their appraisals. In addition, children seem to be unaware of their underprivileged pedestrian status compared to adult pedestrians, as evidenced by similar appraisal patterns for both pedestrian age groups. The safety implications of these findings are discussed.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1619-1626
JournalAccident Analysis & Prevention
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


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