Impacts of Social Distancing on Pedestrian Behavior and Risk Perception
Event Type
TimeTuesday, October 26th10:00am - 10:50am EDT
LocationVirtual 1
DescriptionSince COVID-19 transmission accelerated in the United States in March 2020, guidelines have recommended that individuals wear masks and limit close contact by remaining at least six feet away from others, even while outdoors. Such behavior is important to help slow the spread of the global pandemic; however, it may require pedestrians to make critical decisions about entering a roadway in order to avoid others, potentially creating hazardous situations for both themselves and for drivers. In this survey study, we found that while overall patterns of self-reported pedestrian activity remained largely consistent over time, participants indicated increased willingness to enter active roadways when encountering unmasked pedestrians since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Participants also rated the risks of encountering unmasked pedestrians as greater than those associated with entering a street, though the perceived risk of passing an unmasked pedestrian on the sidewalk decreased over time.