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Don't look now, blind corners may be safest

作者:茹缟    发布时间:2019-03-07 11:12:01    

By Peter Hadfield in Tokyo BLOCKING the view of drivers is the best way to prevent accidents at crossroads, according to researchers in Japan. A team from the Japan Automobile Research Institute in Tsukuba noticed that accidents happened much more frequently at crossroads where drivers had a clear field of view, suggesting that people may drive more cautiously when they aren’t quite sure what is coming. To test this theory, Nobuyuki Uchida spent six months in the Netherlands working at the Centre for Environmental and Traffic Psychology in the University of Groningen. In his experiment, 18 people aged between 20 and 40 were given six turns each at the steering-wheel of a simulator. Each time they had to drive along an imaginary 6-kilometre road at 60 kilometres an hour, passing 18 intersections along the way. As soon as they saw a car coming down one of the side roads they had to press a button. Uchida found that drivers noticed cars more quickly when their view was partially obscured by a small fence. Cars approaching down a clear road were spotted 50 metres from the crossroads on average. But when the side road was partly obscured, the distance increased to 60 metres. Uchida is now trying to determine how far from the intersection the obstructing fence needs to be to gain the most benefit. “Once the research project is over we don’t have any plans to try it out on a real road—it’s too dangerous,” says fellow researcher Tsuyoshi Katayama, adding that police have expressed an interest in trying it out, under supervision,

 

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