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Forget Stop Signs: Use Psychology to Get Drivers to Yield

A new study sheds light on what actually convinces drivers to slow down and stop for pedestrians.
October 21, 2018, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Pedestrian Safety

Angie Schmitt reports on the findings of an analysis by Nichole Morris, director of the HumanFIRST Laboratory at the University of Minnesota, of drivers yielding at crosswalks around St. Paul.

Morris and her team initially found yielding rates were dreadful: Only 32 percent of drivers stopped. But they were able to improve that number more than double that using “human factors psychology,” which is focused on altering group behavior.

Human factors psychology includes other jargon-y sounding terms like "social norming" and "implied surveillance." But Schmitt interviews Morris in person to clarify more of the concepts behind this tool for convincing drivers to slow and even stop for the safety and right of way of pedestrians.

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Published on Friday, October 19, 2018 in Streetsblog USA
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