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Impact of Roadside Advertising on Road Safety

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Publication no: AP-R420-13 Pages: 56
Published: 16 January 2013


This research project aimed to harmonise the criteria road agencies use to manage roadside advertising devices, and promote improved and consistent good practice by road agencies.

Physical and psychological human characteristics strongly suggest that in some driving situations it is likely that the movement or changes in luminance created by digital displays will involuntarily capture attention, and that particularly salient emotional and engaging material will divert attention, to the detriment of driving performance. This is particularly the case for inexperienced drivers. Where this happens in a driving situation that is also cognitively demanding, the consequences have the potential to be significant.

This report provides guidance principles designed to mitigate the potential for roadside advertising to capture attention, reduce the cognitive capacity available for driving and have a negative impact on driving performance. The principles are divided into sign design and sign placement recommendations and cover movement, dwell time, transition time, message sequencing, quantity of information, information content / meaning, luminance, longitudinal placement, lateral placement, vertical placement, orientation/viewing angle, sight distance/visibility, and speed environment.


Table of Contents

1 Introduction
  • 1.1 Background
  • 1.2 Purpose and Outline of the Project
2 Method
3 Roadside advertising devices
  • 3.1 Non-changeable Advertising Devices
  • Conventional billboards and posters
  • Mobile/portable billboards
  • Public transport shelter and street furniture poster displays
  • Other
  • 3.2 Changeable Advertising Devices
  • 3.2.1 Mechanically-changed
  • 3.2.2 Electronically-changed
  • 3.3 Illumination
4 General Human factors considerations
  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 The Nature of Attention
  • 4.2.1 Automatic Capture of Attention
  • 4.2.2 Attentional Biases
  • 4.2.3 Limited Capacity of Attention
  • 4.3 Perceptual Issues
  • 4.3.1 Eyes Off the Forward Roadway
  • 4.3.2 Visual Clutter
  • 4.4 Summary
5 Review of research on the safety impact of roadside advertising
  • 5.1 Distraction as a Safety Issue
  • 5.2 Roadside Advertising as a Safety Issue
  • 5.3 Summary
6 Best practice principles
  • 6.1 Potential for Capturing Attention Involuntarily
  • 6.1.1 Movement
  • 6.1.2 Dwell Time
  • 6.1.3 Transition Time
  • 6.1.4 Luminance
  • 6.1.5 Content
  • 6.2 Mental Workload
  • 6.2.1 Visual Clutter
  • 6.2.2 Driving Demand
  • 6.2.3 Content
  • 6.3 Gaze Direction
  • 6.3.1 Offset
  • 6.3.2 Elevation
  • 6.4 Road Environment
  • 6.4.1 Crash Rate Assessment
  • 6.4.2 Risk Assessment
7 Current guidelines
8 Gap analysis
9 Guidance model/outline
  • 9.1 Sign Design Guidance
  • 9.2 Sign Placement Guidance
References
Appendix A List of workshop attendees

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