Assessing the Distraction Potential of Changeable Highway Message Signs

This article reports findings of two experiments to evaluate the distraction potential of changeable message sign (CMS) displays of non-traffic related content. The first experiment set out to 1) determine whether drivers look more at signs with frequently changing color images of faces than to blank or travel time signs; and 2) determine whether drivers exposed to visually salient non-traffic related messages on overhead signs would eventually fail to detect critical instructions to exit the freeways due to habituation. The second experiment aimed to determine whether content on a CMS increases the likelihood that drivers will miss a roadway hazard. Among the results of the experiments was the finding that drivers do not necessarily habituate to frequently recurring driving irrelevant CMS messages, nor do the messages detract from drivers' recognition of road hazards.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Inman, Vaughan W
    • Philips, Brian H
  • Publication Date: 2017-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 25-27
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01636661
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 30 2017 8:23AM