Research Output

Visual gaze behaviour of adults and older adults at a pedestrian crossing.

  Underdeveloped visual search strategies may be a contributing factor to children's involvement in pedestrian accidents. Although laboratory-based research suggests that the ability to detect targets in a cluttered scene may be less efficient in children compared with adults (Trick et al, 2003 Memory & Cognition 31 1229 - 1237), no study to date has examined this using a real-world, roadside setting. The present study compared the visual gaze behaviour of 8-year-old children (N=5) and adults (N=6) during a real-world, road-crossing task, using an eye-tracker. Participants were asked to cross the road when they felt it was safe. Gaze fixation was analysed using frame-by-frame coding. In the 3 s prior to crossing, children fixated 8% of the time on traffic signs and signals, adults 30%. Children fixated more on traffic-irrelevant features such as buildings and trees than the adults. The children's attention to irrelevant features at the roadside concurs with previous laboratory-based studies and is a likely contributing factor to their involvement in pedestrian accidents.

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  • Publication Status:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    HE Transportation and Communications

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    388 Transportation; ground transportation


Egan, C. D., Willis, A., Ness, H. & Stradling, S. G. (2007). Visual gaze behaviour of adults and older adults at a pedestrian crossing. Perception. 37, 149. ISSN 0301-0066



Visual gaze; pedestrian crossings; accidents; children;

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