Visual Wall

Keep your eyes on the road.  It is the way we stay safe drivers.  This type of anecdote is regular among the back seat drivers who are always WAAYY better at driving than you are.  There are some unintended unsafe byproducts of this idea of keeping your eyes on the road.  It is a little something I like to call the visual wall.

Imagine a long hallway.  This hallway is straight, with doors interspersed evenly down the hallway as far as you can see.  In between some of these doorways are intersections with other long hallways.  Kind of a creepy place I know, so lets through some people in this hallway too.  They are all walking at a brisk pace and going into doors and into the intersecting hallways.  Now you are walking.  Not to be the lazy bones in this scene, you keep up with the pace of the other walkers.  You are headed to a door you know is along this hallway, but you are not quite sure how far down it is.  You are walking.  SOMEONE darts RIGHT in front of you from a doorway and into a doorway across the hall.  Phew!  Almost ran into them.  That would have been awkward.

This is the visual wall.  While in a car, you see the people moving quickly with you and towards you.  The surprises come when things dart in contrary directions to the to and from flow.

The visual wall is bounded by parked cars or the curb.  The wall only becomes more pronounced when speeds are increased.

Back to the hallway.  You have reached your door.  You stop and look down the hallway from the door.  You realize that there are pictures, lights, windows, and drinking fountains which you did not see because of the need to recognize people darting from door to door and the people coming towards you and traveling with you.

This is effect of the visual wall.  It is hard to notice the small things when you are so fixated on not hitting the fast moving expensive things.  This is just why signs for businesses are so large on freeways and high speed roads.  The signs are attempting to get attention from you.  The visual wall is penetrated from outside the curb by these types of things.

Pedestrians, cyclists, cars peeking out from a drive to enter traffic, and all types of things are just beyond the visual wall.  Once they peak from just outside the curb, an alert is sent up.  HERE I COME!

I am not completely sure how the visual wall really affects the safety of the road.  I hope to figure that out.

Stay Tuned.

CURBS: senior paper, is just picking up speed.


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