to determine when it is "clear to cross"
Know what to listen for and "tune in" to those sounds
Students can greatly improve their ability to hear approaching vehicles with experience -- as Daniel Kish says, people develop a knack for it when they listen intently on a regular basis.
For example, at my street-crossing workshops I've noticed that those who regularly listen for traffic to cross streets can hear the approaching vehicles much sooner than those who do not.
NOTE: The APH program Crossings with No Traffic Control: Teaching Concepts and Skills to Deal with Them has stereophonic high-fidelity recordings of approaching vehicles.
Click here to see it being used remotely to help a student identify the sound of the vehicles earlier.
- Have the student listen for approaching traffic, and record the detection-to-arrival times of the vehicles that are heard when it is quiet.
After listening intently for a while, the times of detection-to-arrival will probably get longer as the student learns to "tune into" the sound of the approaching traffic.
- Daniel Kish suggests that turning the head periodically can greatly improve the detection of minute sounds, especially against a noisy background such as wind or other traffic sounds.
Perhaps the reason this is effective is because it shifts or refreshes the sound, which attracts the brain's attention to it.
- Daniel Kish also suggests stepping back or forward, listening to find the best position to hear the vehicles -- this may also avoid or reduce any blocking of the sound of the vehicles.