Increase Security-Safely/Perceived Security-Safety

Crime and Climate (10-18-19)

Trujillo and Howley looked at relationships between climate and crime levels; their findings indicate the importance of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) in Torrid Zones and of tailoring CPTED features to an area.  The research team “investigates the relationship between weather and crime in Barranquilla, Colombia, a city in the Torrid Zone, which in contrast to more commonly studied temperate zones is hot and humid year-round.

Alarming Sounds (10-09-19)

Arnal and teammates probed what sorts of sounds alarm humans.  They found that “One strategy, exploited by alarm signals, consists in emitting fast but perceptible amplitude modulations in the roughness range (30–150 Hz). . . . Rough sounds synchronise activity throughout superior temporal regions, subcortical and cortical limbic areas, and the frontal cortex, a network classically involved in aversion processing.”  Rough sounds from 40-80 Hz are especially unpleasant for us to hear.  The 40-80 Hz range is where the frequencies of babies crying, human screams, and many alarms are found.

Yellow! (09-18-19)

Hu, Rosa, and Andersonstudied the feasibility of using yellow in situations where safety is important and found it is a good option when timely visibility is important.  They investigated if “yellow differentially influence[s] attention and action and if so is this related to purely visual or affective factors? . .

Risky Walking? (08-06-19)

Pedestrians’ apparent lack of awareness of their surroundings may not raise safety issues. A team lead by Harms reports that “Pedestrians are commonly engaged in other activities while walking. The current study assesses (1) whether pedestrians are sufficiently aware of their surroundings to successfully negotiate obstacles in a city, and (2) whether various common walking practices affect awareness of obstacles and, or, avoidance behavior. To this end, an obstacle, i.e., a signboard was placed on a pavement in the city centre of Utrecht, the Netherlands. . . .

Meaningful Alarms (07-12-19)

McDougall and colleagues investigated the best sorts of sounds to use as medical alarms.  They conducted “two experiments, with nonclinical participants, alarm sets which relied on similarities to environmental sounds (concrete alarms, such as a heartbeat sound to indicate ‘check cardiovascular function’) were compared to alarms using abstract tones to represent functions on medical devices. The extent to which alarms were acoustically diverse was also examined: alarm sets were either acoustically different or acoustically similar within each set. . . .

Emergency Signage (06-28-19)

What colors are best for emergency signage? A research team lead by Kinateder determined that when study “Participants were immersed in a virtual room with two doors (left and right), and an illuminated sign with different colored vertical bars above each door. . . . On each trial, a fire alarm sounded, and participants walked to the door that they thought was the exit. . . .  Participants predominantly walked toward green signs, even though the exit signs in the local environment—including the building where the experiment took place—were red.

Speeding and Light Levels (04-09-19)

Research indicates that as lighting levels decrease, people drive more quickly.  De Bellis and colleagues “examine[d] real-world speeding behavior and its interaction with illuminance, an environmental property defined as the luminous flux incident on a surface. Drawing on an analysis of 1.2 million vehicle movements, we show that reduced illuminance levels are associated with increased speeding. This relationship persists when we control for factors known to influence speeding (e.g., fluctuations in traffic volume) and consider proxies of illuminance (e.g., sight distance).”

Passing Safely (04-08-19)

Beck and teammates investigated how close cars are to bicycles being passed and their findings have implications for the design of not only roadways but also generally, for hallways within buildings, for example.  The Beck-lead team found that when “Participants had a custom device installed on their bicycle and rode as per their usual cycling for one to two weeks. . .

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