A new study finds that "active" road signs may make drivers more attentive.
One of the most glorious parts of being a human being is unparalleled adaptability, the power to tune out the most horrible and disruptive things and continue living despite it all.
That skill is downright unhelpful when it comes to traffic signs. Getting accustomed to signs that figuratively spells “danger” could lead to actual danger, and even death. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research takes a look at whether different sorts of signs—specifically, those depicting movement—do a better job of forcing drivers to pay attention to the road.
The investigating researchers, marketing experts Luca Cian, Aradhna Krishna and Ryan Elder, came up with four alternatives to static road signs, the types commonly used in the United States. While these “lower dynamism” traffic signs contain all the trappings of successful warnings—simple, clean iconography and a black and yellow color scheme—the researchers theorized that “higher dynamism” signs would do a better job of attracting driver attention and heightening risk perception.
So instead of a flat and still snowmobile to indicate Snowmobilers ahead!, the researchers tipped the vehicle on an incline to suggest something closer to Moving snowmobilers ahead!