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How to keep children save in traffic: Find the daredevils while they are young

Ulrich Hoffrage (), Martin Weber (), Ralph Hertwig and Valerie Chase ()
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Ulrich Hoffrage: Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Postal: L 13, 15, D-68131 Mannheim
Martin Weber: Lehrstuhl für ABWL, Finanzwirtschaft, insb. Bankbetriebslehre, Postal: L 5, 2, D-68131 Mannheim
Ralph Hertwig: MPI for Human Development, Postal: Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin
Valerie Chase: MPI for Human Development, Postal: Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin

No 99-25, Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications from Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim

Abstract: Crossing the street in front of oncoming vehicles poses serious danger to young children. In this research, we tried to identify children who are particularly prone to making risky crossing decisions. We used simple games involving risk to classify 5- to 6-year-olds as risk takers or risk avoiders. Children classified as risk takers made more ¶Go¸ decisions than risk avoiders when faced with the task to cross a busy one-way street. They also tolerated shorter time intervals between initiation of the step off the curb and arrival of the next vehicle, had a somewhat higher probability of causing an accident (hypothetically defined), and made decisions more quickly than risk avoiders. We relate these results to previous research and discuss how they might be used to improve traffic safety programs.

Pages: 45 pages
Date: 1999-03-23
Note: Financial Support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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