Research & reports

Title: Investigating driver distraction: the effects of video and static advertising

Organisation: TRL
Date uploaded: 15th September 2010
Date published/launched: May 2010

This study provides a detailed insight into the effects of roadside billboard advertising on driver behaviour.

Roadside advertising is a common sight on urban roads.

Previous research suggests the presence of advertising increases mental workload and changes the profile of eye fixations, drawing attention away from the driving task.

This study was conducted using a driving simulator and integrated eye-tracking system to compare driving behaviour across a number of experimental advertising conditions.

48 participants took part in this trial, with three factors examined; advert type, position of adverts and exposure duration to adverts.

The results indicated that when passing advert positions, drivers:
spent longer looking at video adverts;
glanced at video adverts more frequently;
tended to show greater variation in lateral lane position with video adverts;
braked harder on approach to video adverts;
drove more slowly past video adverts.

The findings indicate that video adverts caused significantly greater impairment to driving performance when compared to static adverts.

Questionnaire results support the findings of the data recorded in the driving simulator, with participants being aware their driving was more impaired by the presence of video adverts.

Through analysis of the experimental data, this study has provided the most detailed insight yet into the effects of roadside billboard advertising on driver behaviour.

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Enquiries at TRL

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