Crossable and Acceptable Gaps in Traffic
What is a gap in traffic?
A gap in traffic is the space and time between vehicles.
[First photo] The gaps in traffic are very short here -- there is probably less than a second between the time that one vehicle passes a point and the next vehicle arrives.
[Photo to the far right] There are long gaps in this traffic. The last vehicle that passed this crosswalk is out of view -- the distance and length of time between that vehicle and the next vehicle to arrive is much longer than the gaps in the first photo.
What are "crossable gaps" in traffic?
"Crossable gaps" for pedestrians are gaps in traffic that are at least long enough to allow them time to complete their crossing.
Whether a gap is crossable would depend on the pedestrian's crossing time -- crossable gaps can be shorter for pedestrians who can cross in a shorter time than they are for pedestrians who need more time to cross (for example for slower pedestrians or wider crossings).
What are "acceptable gaps" in traffic?
"Acceptable gaps" in traffic are gaps between vehicles which pedestrians feel are long enough to allow them to cross.
Gaps in traffic that are acceptable to some people might not be acceptable for others.
Whether or not a gap is acceptable depends on the person's level of risk acceptance, how much the person trusts that the drivers will stop, and the person's perception of how long the gap is
(that perception may not be correct -- the gap might be much longer or shorter than the person thinks it is).
Return to Situations of Uncertainty for Gap Judgment
Return to Self-Study Guide: Preparing Visually Impaired Students to Assess and Cross Streets with No Traffic Control
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