Gender differences in pedestrian rule compliance and visual search at signalized and unsignalized crossroads

Accid Anal Prev. 2011 Sep;43(5):1794-801. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2011.04.012. Epub 2011 Apr 30.


Male pedestrians are over-represented in road crashes. Among pedestrians, males violate more rules than females do. For now, it is not known whether gender differences in pedestrian behaviors only concern rule compliance. The objective of this study was to explore gender differences in pedestrian rule compliance and in gaze targets before and during crossing. 400 adult pedestrians were observed at two signalized and two unsignalized crossroads, using a taxonomic observation grid which detailed 13 behavioral categories before, during and after crossing. The results show that the temporal crossing compliance rate is lower among male pedestrians but spatial crossing compliance does not differ between genders. Furthermore, different gaze patterns emerge between genders before and during crossing, notably as women particularly focus on other pedestrians during these two periods whereas men focus on vehicles. Moreover, females' gazes vary with the type of crossroads, but males' gazes do not. Spatial crossing compliance and gaze targets are furthermore modulated by the crossroad configuration. These results are discussed in terms of pedestrian visual strategy and compliance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Behavior*
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Female
  • Government Regulation
  • Humans
  • Lighting
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors*
  • Transportation* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Visual Perception*
  • Walking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Walking / psychology*
  • Young Adult