In addition, eyeglance results showed that there were no differences in the overall glance patterns between digital billboards, conventional billboards, comparison events, and baseline events during the daytime. And the nighttime results indicate that digital billboards and comparison events may be associated with more active glance patterns, as well as with more frequent and longer glances towards the digital billboards and comparison events.
Some aspect of the digital billboards and comparison events, however, holds the driver's attention, once the driver has glanced that way. This is most likely, says the report, the result of the intrinsic lighting of these signs, which is noticeable even during the daytime. Drivers may also have maintained longer glances towards the digital billboards in the hopes of catching the next message (knowing that the message changes periodically).
The overall conclusion, supported by both the eyeglance results and subsequent questionnaire results, is that the digital billboards seem to attract more attention than the conventional billboards and baseline sites (as shown by a greater number of spontaneous comments regarding the digital billboards and by longer glances in the direction of the billboards).
Other notable findings from this study are as follows:
The results of the drivers' visual performance indicate no measurable distinction between billboard sites and comparison sites such as logo boards, on-premise signs and other roadside objects. In addition, there was no difference in visual behavior in terms of the age of the driver, their familiarity with the road or what side of the road they were on.
Dr. Suzanne Lee of VTTI, the project's Principal Investigator, observed that "... a more rigorous examination of individual billboards that could be considered to be the most visually attention-getting showed no relationship between glance location and billboard location."
The study included thirty-six drivers with males and females equally represented, and equally divided by age (older: 50-75, younger: 18-35). Participants drove an instrumented vehicle on their own on a 50-mile loop along interstates and surface streets. Participants were told that the study was to help understand the way people drive in a natural environment. Along the route, participants encountered:
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