Left-Turning Buses: Drive Task Analysis, Pedestrian Collisions, and Possible Solutions

Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 1:00pm

About the Event

In the United States between 1999 and 2005, more than 40 percent of fatal transit bus crashes involved a collision with a pedestrian. Compared to other bus maneuvers at intersections, left turns are associated with a particularly high proportion of collisions with pedestrians. Bus drivers are frequently held accountable for such collisions, but the factors that contribute to the crashes—and the variety of processes completed by drivers during a left-turn maneuver—have not been adequately researched.

In this seminar, Ensar Becic discussed two research efforts related to left-turning buses. The first project included a task analysis of left-turning maneuvers by bus drivers. The study was designed to provide insight into the cognitive and perceptual processes of drivers during left turns and develop potential countermeasures to help reduce bus-pedestrian collisions. Suggested countermeasures included helping drivers detect critical pedestrians at a crosswalk and removing the need for an attention-demanding subtask while the driver completes a left turn. The second study used a simulator to examine the proposed countermeasures, investigate the potential effectiveness of technology- and infrastructure-based interventions, and evaluate the impact of environmental factors on driver performance.


Ensar Becic is a research associate at the HumanFIRST Program of the ITS Institute. He has more than seven years of experience developing, designing, and conducting studies in cognitive psychology and human factors. Becic's research focuses on the ways that people perceive and interact with their technologically-laden environment within the context of driving and methods for improving their cognitive and perceptual processes.