Motorist yielding to pedestrians at unsignalized intersections - Findings from a National Study on Improving Pedestrian Safety Conference Paper uri icon


  • This paper evaluates engineering treatments that can be used to improve the safety of pedestrians crossing in marked crosswalks on busy arterial streets. The research team collected extensive data at 42 study sites in different regions of the country to gauge the effectiveness (as measured by motorist yielding or stopping) of various engineering treatments. Motorist yielding data were collected for crossing pedestrians from the general population as well as for crossings staged by the research team. In preliminary analyses, the treatments were grouped into three categories based on function and design: (a) red signal or beacon devices, (b) "active when present" devices, and (c) enhanced and high-visibility treatments. The authors found the red signal or beacon devices to be the most effective, with yielding rates exceeding 94% for all study sites. Other treatments had various rates of motorist yielding, and several variables (number of lanes and speed limit in particular) were statistically significant in predicting motorist yielding. Most treatments in the other two categories had statistically similar motorist yielding levels. An implementation matrix (currently being finalized by the research team) is recommended to assist in selecting appropriate crossing treatments for streets with known road widths, traffic volumes, and pedestrian volumes. It is recommended that engineers include red signal or beacon devices in their toolboxes to improve pedestrian crossing safety along busy arterial streets.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Turner, S., Fitzpatrick, K., Brewer, M., & Park, E. S.

citation count

  • 43

complete list of authors

  • Turner, Shawn||Fitzpatrick, Kay||Brewer, Marcus||Park, Eun Sug

publication date

  • January 2006