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The role of skills, attitudes, and perceived behaviour control in pedestrian decision-making of adolescents aged 11-15 years

Tolmie, Andrew and Thomson, James and O'Connor, R. and Karagiannidou, E. and Banks, M. and O'Donnell, C. and Sarvary, P. (2006) The role of skills, attitudes, and perceived behaviour control in pedestrian decision-making of adolescents aged 11-15 years. Road Safety Research Report . Department of Transport Publications, Wetherby, United Kingdom. ISBN 9781904763642

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Abstract

The peak age for pedestrian accidents among school pupils in the UK is between 12 and 14 years, following the transition to secondary school, and after children have apparently become relatively competent at interacting with traffic. The reason why vulnerability should increase when underlying skills have improved is unclear. A better understanding of the processes at work is therefore needed in order to determine what steps might be taken to counteract this problem. This report details two studies designed to unravel which factors contribute most to increases in unsafe pedestrian behaviour between the ages of 11 and 15 years. Study 1 focused on whether young adolescents do, in fact, have limited skills for dealing with more complex traffic environments; and whether, in spite of this, they underestimate the difficulty of road-crossing decisions, and ignore signs that their performance is less adequate than they believe. Study 2 was designed to investigate the source of young adolescents' misperceptions of difficulty, and the relative impact of these and attitudes or other perceptions on pedestrian decision-making.