Forensic Engineers and Consultants

Tag Archive: pedestrian-vehicle collisions

  1. Civil Twilight Pedestrian Collision: A Case Study

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    Susan, a 45-year-old runner, was jogging in the early morning approximately an hour before sunrise, also known as “civil twilight.” Civil twilight occurs both before sunrise and after sunset when the sun is below the horizon and the sky is partially illuminated. Susan was wearing dark athletic clothing and grey tennis shoes for her morning run. She was running on the sidewalk in a suburban area and began to cross the four-lane road at an unmarked crosswalk. (more…)

  2. The Difficult Task of Avoiding Pedestrians While Driving at Night

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    An alarming 6,516 pedestrians were killed, and 54,769 pedestrians were injured as a result of traffic crashes in 2020 (NHTSA, 2022). A large majority (77%) of these pedestrian fatalities occurred in low luminance conditions such as nighttime while only 20% occurred in daylight (NHTSA, 2022). This dramatic difference between pedestrian fatalities during the night and day is seen even when controlling for driver fatigue and alcohol consumption (Owens & Sivak, 1996). This phenomenon prompts the question as what is so dangerous about being a pedestrian at night? (more…)

  3. The Big Difference Between Conspicuity and Visibility

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    Visibility aids, such as lighting, reflectors, and fluorescent material, are marketed to vulnerable road users (VRUs) like pedestrians and bicyclists as a way to enhance their safety on the road. These visibility aids increase the VRU’s contrast within the roadway environment therefore increasing their visibility. However, increasing visibility does not necessarily mean enhancing conspicuity. For example, the key difference between a visible pedestrian and a conspicuous pedestrian is that a visible pedestrian is distinguishable from their background whereas a conspicuous pedestrian “grabs” the driver’s visual attention. (more…)

  4. The Best Use of Visibility Aids – Contrast

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    There are various visibility aids marketed for vulnerable road users (VRUs). Here, the term VRU is used to describe unprotected road users such as pedestrians and bicyclists. Visibility aids are designed to increase a VRU’s contrast within their environment, making them more distinguishable from the background to a driver. These visibility aids can include both active and passive ways to increase the VRU’s contrast, therefore their visibility. As the name implies, active visibility aids actively transmit light and are powered by a source (i.e., battery powered bicycle headlights and taillights) while passive visibility aids passively reflect light coming from outside sources (i.e., fluorescent, and retroreflective clothing).

    There are a wide variety of active visibility aids to choose from on the market. For example, (more…)

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