Evaluation of highway posters by look movement analyses

Project No. BGAG 490001


completed 10/2009


The accident insurance institutions, also the DVR (German Road Safety Council), apply in the context of prevention campaigns and operations posters, most are placed on motorways. So far, these posters are not evaluated in the manner that volunteers see them for a short duration comparable to the motorway situation and through eye movement analysis and questionnaires, the perceived information and graphic elements and their effect on the subjects identified and reviewed.
As part of a thesis, this approach with the new "Runter vom Gas" posters examples tested.


A total of 60 volunteers saw the poster "ABI 200x" of the autobahn-placard serie II (showing accident-hulks of cars combined with special occurrences of live) embedded in a static traffic scene for three seconds. By tracking and analysis of eye movements it could be determined which elements of the scene were observed. Additionally, questionnaires assessed which attitude chances regarding speed adaption and intentions to reduce speed in situations with adverse vision, bad traffic or poor weather conditions were developed.


Already after three months retention of the autobahn-placard series II (showing accident-hulks of cars combined with special occurrences of live), 52% of the interviewed car drivers could unerringly describe or name at least one placard. Besides this considerable level of familiarity the extraordinary awareness of placard content needs to be mentioned. 87 percent of the car-drivers correctly remembered the perceived object of the accident, 80 percent remembered the message "Runter vom Gas!" (slow down), the live event "ABI 200X" (graduation 200X) was remembered correctly by only 23% of the interviewed car-drivers, since the X in the graduation year was substituted by a zero nearly every time.
The eye-catchingly colored, greatly salient writing ABI 200X was focused for the longest time, followed by the claim "Runter vom Gas!", the accident-hulk and the companies logos. The study showed that perceiving the placards did not lead the car drivers to form intentions to reduce their speed in situations with adverse vision, bad traffic or poor weather conditions. Therefore, one can only expect none or very small changes in driving-speed. The missing intention to adapt driving-speed to external conditions are caused by non-significant effects of the autobahn-placards on attitude changes regarding speed adaption to the current driving situation.
In future in the context of a dissertation the traffic safety placards of the autobahn-placard serie I to III will be implemented in the driving simulator of the Institute of Work and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IAG) to study their effect in dynamic driving situations.

Last Update:

2 Jul 2010


Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e.V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • BGAG - Institut Arbeit und Gesundheit der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:



Evaluation, Prävention, Verkehrsunfälle

Description, key words:

Traffic safety; prevention, evaluation, motorway poster, eye movement analysis