An investigation of road crossing in a virtual environment

  • Published: Accident Analysis and Prevention. 2003 Sep; 35(5), 2003
  • Authors: G. Simpson, L. Johnston, M. Richardson
  • Date Added: 02 Feb 2013
  • Last Update: 02 Feb 2013
  • Format: pdf


Use of virtual reality system to investigate road crossing behaviour in children and young adults (aged 19 to 30).


Trials were conducted in which vehicles passed at either a uniform speed (but with variable spacing), or with uniform gaps at the time they passed the pedestrian (but with variable speed).

Key Findings:

Road crossing performance was better in uniform speed rather than uniform distance trials.

This suggests that pedestrians base road crossing decisions on inter-vehicle distance rather than vehicle speed.


Road crossing, behaviour, virtual reality


Virtual reality was used to illicit more realistic behaviour (i.e. a sense of risk) compared to computer based simulations.