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Dukic, T., Ahlstrom, C., Patten, C., Kettwich, C., & Kircher, K. (2013). Effects of electronic billboards on driver distraction. Traffic Inj Prev, 14(5), 469–476.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: There is an increase in electronic advertising billboards along major roads, which may cause driver distraction due to the highly conspicuous design of the electronic billboards. Yet limited research on the impact of electronic billboards on driving performance and driver behavior is available. The Swedish Transport Administration recently approved the installation of 12 electronic billboards for a trial period along a 3-lane motorway with heavy traffic running through central Stockholm, Sweden. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of these electronic billboards on visual behavior and driving performance. METHOD: A total of 41 drivers were recruited to drive an instrumented vehicle passing 4 of the electronic billboards during day and night conditions. A driver was considered visually distracted when looking at a billboard continuously for more than 2 s or if the driver looked away from the road for a high percentage of time. Dependent variables were eye-tracking measures and driving performance measures. RESULTS: The visual behavior data showed that drivers had a significantly longer dwell time, a greater number of fixations, and longer maximum fixation duration when driving past an electronic billboard compared to other signs on the same road stretches. No differences were found for the factors day/night, and no effect was found for the driving behavior data. CONCLUSION: Electronic billboards have an effect on gaze behavior by attracting more and longer glances than regular traffic signs. Whether the electronic billboards attract too much attention and constitute a traffic safety hazard cannot be answered conclusively based on the present data.