INVESTIGATIONS OF DISTRACTION BY IRRELEVANT INFORMATION

Roadside advertising has been considered by some road traffic authorities to be a hazard to road safety because it may distract the attention of drivers from their driving tasks. Yet there is little evidence to support this contention, either from traffic accident studies or laboratory studies of distraction. In this report the nature and mechanism of distraction are reviewed briefly together with recent work relevant to the road traffic situation. Five experiments were carried out in which high information content irrelevant information was used in an attempt to divert the attention of operators from two tasks intended to simulate the visuomotor tasks encountered in driving. Small but statistically highly significant decrements in task performance were produced under conditions of critical load by the presentation of distraction stimuli. The importance of these results in the context of roadside advertising is discussed. /Author/

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    ARRB Group Limited

    500 Burwood Highway
    Vermont South, Victoria    3133
  • Authors:
    • Johnston, A W
    • Cole, B L
  • Publication Date: 1976-9

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 3-23
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00148762
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: May 11 1977 12:00AM