An On-Road Study of the Impact of Roadside Advertising on Driving Performance and Situation Awareness.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned ReportOther


Roadside advertising has been suggested to have the potential to create a crash risk for drivers as they may distract drivers’ attention from the driving task at critical times. Using an on-road instrumented vehicle study, this project aimed to examine how static and electronic advertising billboards affect drivers' situation awareness and driving performance across a range of different driving environments: freeway, busy urban retail area and arterial roads. A total of 19 fully licensed drivers drove an instrumented vehicle around a 38 km test route comprising sections of each of these road environments. The route contained a number of static and electronic roadside billboards. Drivers provided continuous verbal protocols throughout the drive. Overall, the driving performance and situation awareness results indicated that drivers were not overly distracted by the static or electronic billboards in any of the road environments examined, as indicated by a lack of serious errors being made in the vicinity of the billboards. Drivers focused on the billboards when driving demand was low, such as when driving on the freeway with little else going on, in lower speed zones, or when stationary. However, when drivers were required to perform a manoeuvre or driving demand increased, drivers tended to pay less attention to the billboards. This suggests that drivers can self-regulate their attention to billboards and can ignore them when they are required to focus on the immediate traffic or driving situation. Although only one electronic billboard was examined, there did not appear to be any difference between the impact of electronic and static billboards on driver behaviour and situation awareness.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMelbourne Vic Australia
PublisherMonash University
Commissioning bodyCommonwealth of Australia
Number of pages58
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015

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