at crossings without
traffic controls
Gene Bourquin, Rob Wall, Dona Sauerburger
What conditions cause
drivers to yield:
vests, flags, and cane,
oh my?
Why drivers
Social theories and
empirical research
indicate that dependency
cues influence drivers
Harrell (1993)
Drivers yielded more
readily to individuals perceived
to be dependent: mothers with a
carriage, people thought to have
a physical disability, or people
who are blind.
(Bake & Reitz, 1978)
What drivers
Attentional capture: a
stimulus that alters attention
away from the prevailing
focus…which draw a attention
without that person’s volition.
(Hughes, Vachon, & Jones, 2005)
What’s in your
attention set?
(Mack, Pappas, Silverman, & Gay, 2002)
Inattentional Blindness: the
phenomenon when items not
expected, not of interest, or
not meaningful are not
perceived by the visual
(Ramachandran &
Rogers-Ramachandran, 2005)
Conditions are likely to be
noticed and understood
when attentional capture is
high and inattentional
blindness in minimized.
What we knew about
drivers’ yielding
driver yielding for pedestrians
approaching crosswalk at a
no white cane: 52% drivers
 with white cane: 63% drivers
(Geruschat and Hassan, 2005)
driver yielding for pedestrians
standing at roundabout
crosswalks with a visible long
white cane or dog
(Ashmead, Guth, Wall, Long, & Ponchillia, 2005)
Entry lanes (slower):
No cane / dog: 20%
With cane / dog: 36.4%
Exit lanes (faster):
No cane / dog: 0%
With cane / dog: 9%
(Ashmead, Guth, Wall, Long, & Ponchillia, 2005)
driver yielding for
pedestrians standing at
crosswalk with a visible
long white cane or dog
(Guth, Ashmead, Long, Wall, & Ponchillia, 2005)
mid-block campus crossing:
no cane/dog: 80% trials
with cane/dog: 96% trial
(Guth, Ashmead, Long, Wall, & Ponchillia, 2005)
Uncontrolled crossing at
downtown intersection (stop
sign on intersecting street):
 no cane/dog: 5% trials
 with cane/dog: 7% trials
(Guth, Ashmead, Long, Wall, & Ponchillia, 2005)
What we did
What we found
375 trials
Control yielding rate:
Cane waive
Cane waive vest
The main differences
seen in yielding were
across the crossing
Secondarily, vehicle
approach speed most
critically impacted
This study, along with previous
studies, indicate a general principle
that using a cane will improve safety.
A long cane is a well-known symbol
that reduces inattention blindness
through its visibility and
Mack, A., Pappas, Z., Silverman, M., & Gay, R. (2002). What we see: Inattention and the
capture of attention by meaning. Consciousness and Cognition 11 (2002) 488–506,
Ashmead, D. H., Guth, D., Wall, R. S., Long, R. G., & Ponchillia, P. E. (2005). Street
Crossing by Sighted and Blind Pedestrians at a Modern Roundabout. Journal of
Transportation Engineering, 131(11), 812-821.
Baker, L. D., & Reitz, H. J. (1978). Altruism toward the blind: effects of sex of helper and
dependency of victim. Journal of Social Psychology, 104(1), 19.
Guth, D., Ashmead, D., Long, R., Wall, R., & Ponchillia., P. (2005). Blind and Sighted
Pedestrians' Judgments of Gaps in Traffic at Roundabouts. Human Factors, 47(2), 134(118).
Harrell, W. A. (1993). The Impact of Pedestrian Visibility and Assertiveness on Motorist
Yielding. [Article]. Journal of Social Psychology, 133(3), 353-360.
Hughes, R. W., Vachon, F., & Jones, D. M. (2005). Auditory Attentional Capture During
Serial Recall: Violations at Encoding of an Algorithm-Based Neural Model? Journal of
Experimental Psychology / Learning, Memory & Cognition, 31(4), 736-749.
Ramachandran, V. S., & Rogers-Ramachandran, D. (2005). How Blind Are We? Scientific
American Mind, 16(2), 96-95.

Driver Yielding Behavior – Dr. Eugene A. Bourquin