DRIVER DECISION MAKING AND HIGHWAY SIGNING

The findings are reviewed of work that has been performed to determine the relevant variables affecting a person's choice of actions, especially when time is a factor. It is shown how these findings relate to problems of highway signing with emphasis on sign placement and content rather than physical properties. Although sign choice and placement cannot be altogether standardized since road conditions vary so greatly, some generalizations are made on the way people use information to select actions. Variables influencing the time to select an action are reviewed. The concept of reaction time (RT) is outlined, and work done in the field of temporal uncertainty, and stimulus and response uncertainity are described. Although the relationships between RT and Uncertainity hold only for controlled laboratory situations, the notion that decision time is used to resolve uncertainity, provides a conceptual frame for considering the driver's use of signs. A number of consequences for sign placement are suggested. Laboratory work on the concept of overload shows that the most common reaction in forced-pace tasks is to omit respone. On the road, this could be dangerous, especially in those design locations where there is no option but to choose an active response. The need is indicated for continuing research into driver reactions to signing and driver information needs as determined by actual driving or in simulators. The signing on a roadway should be evolutionary and subject of change in the light of a continuing program of evaluation.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Twentieth Annual Meeting held at University of Arizona, April 15-16, 1971.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Arizona, Tucson

    Transportation and Traffic Institute
    Tucson, AZ  United States  85721
  • Authors:
    • Ferrell, W R
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1971

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: p. 74-81

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00262897
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 20 1974 12:00AM