Bus Driver Intersection Task Analysis: Investigation of Bus-Pedestrian Crashes


Chia Wei, Ensar Becic, Christopher Edwards, Michael Manser

January 2013

Report no. CTS 13-04

The current report includes two specific research efforts. The primary objective of the first research effort was to conduct a task analysis of a left-turn maneuver by a bus driver. The goal of this task analysis was to provide insight into the cognitive and perceptual processes that bus drivers complete while performing a left-turn maneuver. An additional goal of the first research effort included the development of potential countermeasures that could help reduce the frequency of bus-pedestrian collisions. The interviews conducted as part of the task analysis revealed that drivers engage in a large number of subtasks and cognitive/perceptual processes when completing a left-turn maneuver. We proposed two potential interventions for the reduction of bus/pedestrian collisions. One of the proposed interventions was designed to aid a driver in detection of pedestrians at a crosswalk. The second intervention was designed to remove a need to perform a particular attention-demanding subtask to reduce the cognitive and perceptual load that drivers experience during this maneuver. The second research effort was designed as a pilot simulator study in which we examined the potential effectiveness of proposed interventions. The second study uncovered unanticipated findings (i.e., high rate of collisions with pedestrians) that may be due to the nature of the simulator studies--lack of real-world consequences. The results of the pilot study provided sufficient data for further examination of different support tools for the reduction of the fatalities between left-turning buses, and also uncovered potential relationship between work-related stress and the impact on driving performance.

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