The effects of driver factors and sign design features on the comprehensibility of traffic signs

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-328
Journal / PublicationJournal of Safety Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


Problem: This paper addresses the effects of driver factors and sign design features on the comprehensibility of traffic signs. Methods: A survey was designed to capture subjects' personal particulars, ratings on sign features, and comprehension scores, and then administered to 109 Hong Kong full driving license holders. Results: Years with driving license and education level were significant predictors of sign comprehensibility. Contrary to expectation, the driver factors of age group, years of active driving, hours of driving, last time driving, driving frequency, and non-local driving experience had no effect on comprehension performance. Sign familiarity was correlated with comprehension score for licensed drivers, whereas sign concreteness, simplicity, and meaningfulness were not. Impact on Industry: The results of this study provide useful guidelines for designing more user-friendly traffic signs in the future. It identified particular driver groups who lacked good understanding of traffic signs, and this information may assist the relevant organizations to better allocate traffic training resources, and better target future studies of traffic sign comprehension. © 2008 National Safety Council and Elsevier Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Comprehensibility, Drivers, Sign features, Traffic signs