Experimental study on evacuation behavior with guidance under high and low urgency conditions

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations
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  • Lizhong Yang
  • Dong Wang
  • Maoyu Li
  • Jiajia Jiang


Original languageEnglish
Article number105865
Journal / PublicationSafety Science
Online published27 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


In emergencies, guides play a significant role for evacuees who are unfamiliar with the environment. Proper guidance can improve evacuation efficiency, and the position of guidance is particularly important. However, most studies are focused on the simulation model to explore the optimal guidance position and the experiments are less conducted. In addition, the pedestrians’ behaviors under emergency conditions are usually different from those in normal conditions. In this work, several controlled experiments were conducted to study the effect of guidance positions and stress levels on evacuation efficiency and pedestrians’ behavior. The results show that the pedestrians have a better evacuation performance with guidance under high-stress conditions. Compared with the low-stress level, the pedestrians under the high-stress level evacuate faster and the flow is more continuous. The pedestrians under the high-stress level take longer to make decisions when the exit is unknown but show larger competitiveness when the goal is clear. Besides, guidance can improve evacuation efficiency due to providing exit information to pedestrians. It also reveals that guidance mainly influences the pedestrians who are located nearby and has the greatest effect on helping those far from the exit. These findings can provide empirical data about the effect of guidance on emergency evacuation and further the understanding of pedestrian behaviors in high-stress conditions, which are valuable for crowd management.

Research Area(s)

  • Pedestrian evacuation, Guidance, Stress levels, Controlled experiments