When drivers are distracted, they can miss what is right in front of them. But a kind of opposite is also true: intense focus on one thing makes people more likely to miss other things around them, no matter how obvious. The famous invisible gorilla study on the matter, the crux of which can be seen online, starkly illustrated this.
how can hyperfocused drivers be made aware of what they need to know? Illuminated
signs along the road that help to warn or educate drivers of the road ahead
have been proven to help drivers pay attention to the road and increase their
observation, as a study by the IMOB Transportation Research Institute in Belgium
Too many signs and line markings have also been noted to be more harmful and distract the driver even further, as a study by The Road Safety Observatory highlights. In this study, vehicle-activated signs (VAS) were proven to be more effective in making drivers aware of what they need to know, compared to a clutter of static signs drivers tend to ignore.
In the study, it showed that VAS have been successfully used in making drivers aware of their speed or of a possible hazard. It outlines how trials of VAS to manage speeds for the U.K.’s Department for Transport has seen speeds reduce by 22 km/h on rural roads, and by 11 km/h at bends or junctions.