An experiment is described in which subjects were required to search for familiar traffic signals; for half the time they were also engaged in a manual compensatory tracking task. Experimental variables of the visual search task were color, total number of signals exposed, the number of relevant signals, and the density of the signals. Results showed performance degradation for both tasks when the visual search and the tracking tasks were performed concurrently. Tracking was affected considerably when the vertical distance between a sizable number of signs in an array was 18 degrees of visual angle or greater. Except when color was a perfect cue, visual search was a sequential process, involving a time-consuming inspection of each sign. It was concluded that whenever possible, highly distinctive colors should be used. The optimal design would use as few signals as possible, and where many signs are unavoidable, the use of cueing principles is indicated.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Research supported by the Netherlands Road Traffic Safety Board (SWOV).
  • Corporate Authors:

    Human Factors Society

    Johns Hopkins University Press
    Baltimore, MD  United States  21218
  • Authors:
    • NOBLE, M
    • Sanders, A F
  • Publication Date: 1980-2

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 89-102
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00391850
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-028 862
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 30 1985 12:00AM