Two MIT undergraduate student researchers (UROPs), Annie Shoup and Bradford Jokubaitis are included as co-authors on A Preliminary Report on the Effects of Digital Billboards on Glance Behavior during Highway Driving, that will appear in the proceedings of the Transportation Research Boards Annual Meeting next week. These two UROPS worked with MIT AgeLab Post-doc Daniel Belyusar through some difficult data to reach some interesting and novel conclusions. Their dedication to the project was a major motivator in making this work possible.
Below is the abstract:
Developments in electronics and lighting technology have allowed a recent increase in the number of dynamic, digital billboards (i.e. Commercial Electronic Variable Message Signs (CEVMS)) in the environment and roadways. While a growing body of research has evaluated the similarly increasing prevalence of electronics within the vehicle, very few studies have considered the effects of digital billboards on the visual attention and behavior of drivers. We report here on a preliminary analysis of naturalistic driving behavior in a large sample (n=74) of older and younger drivers in the greater Boston area. Unlike previous studies, our target section of road was mostly free from extraneous signage or other visual confounds, allowing a more thorough characterization of driver glances before and after the electronic billboard. While conclusive results await further study, we report significant shifts in the number and length of glances toward the billboard. These results were particularly evident in older drivers.