Advertisement in traffic

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Thomas Bjerregaard Nielsen
4. term, Transport Engineering, Master (Master Programme)
Driving in traffic is a demanding task. The driver is responsible for avoiding the car ending in an accident. To avoid that, the driver uses some different skills within cognitive, motoric, auditive and visual senses. Then driving in traffic the driver is exposed to a lot of distractions. Some of them are inside the car's cabin, others outside. About 70 \% of the distractions is considered to occur in the cabin. Of the inside distractions the driver has great control whether to react to the distractions. It is also inside the cabin we see some restrictions on handheld cell phones. But what about the outside distractions? How does advertisements in bus shelters affect the visual behavior of car drivers? This report will have a literature study followed by an empiric study.

Study of the literature shows that long gazes away from the road is bad for the traffic safety. By comparison of the crash rate on two roads, one with many advertisements and another without, it is sometimes possible to see a link between many advertisements and a higher crash rate. Now a days a lot of advertisements figure as digital billboards, with powerful light and the possibility to show pictures in motion. Studies have shown that digital billboards attracts more attention from the drivers.

The empiric study consists of an naturalistic experiment, where six test persons drive a route in the city of Aalborg where they drive thru ten static advertisements placed in bus shelters. While driving the test persons wear Eye Glasses that are able to track what they are looking at. Subsequent it is possible to extract data, and se how much time the test persons have used on advertisements.

The results of the study shows that only seven of 58 (12 \%) drive thru advertisements have got a look from the test persons. Five og the seven look appear when the test persons were not moving, because of red light or que. None of the gaze at the advertisement were longer than the critical time at one second. Gazes off the road longer than the critical time are defined as a distraction. The test persons have finally answered a survey. Nobody have noticed the advertisements in the bus shelters.

From this experiment the conclusion must be, that advertisements in bus shelters downtown in the city, does not have much effect on the drivers visual orientation. The experiment only focused at static billboards in bus shelters. As the digital billborads are getting cheaper it is possible that we will see more of them in the cities in the future, and maybe they will also show motion pictures, which will cause in increased attention.
Publication date15 Sept 2017
Number of pages31
ID: 262550834