Road signage comprehension and overload: The role of driving style and need for closure

Shaun Bortei-Doku, Sigal Kaplan*, Carlo Giacomo Prato, Otto Anker Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study looks at the provision of information via traffic signs and its relation with driving styles, need for closure and socio-economic characteristics of road users. A web-based questionnaire allowed collecting information about traffic signs and road surface markings in 12 traffic locations that were presented in two variations: (i) in the first 6 cases, a first configuration contained information that led to ambiguity about the manoeuvres that were legal and a second configuration added traffic signs to eliminate the ambiguity; (ii) in the second 6 cases, a first configuration presented the road environment without signs and a second configuration added traffic signs to verify information redundancy. Respondents indicated for each location which manoeuvres they deemed legal and how many conflicts they estimated without traffic signs, and safety perception and comfort level improved with the traffic signs. Moreover, respondents reported their socio-economic characteristics and filled two questionnaires about need for closure and driving styles. Completed questionnaires from 753 participants from Hungary with expertise in transport and traffic were analysed via statistical and factor analysis, and results reveal that: (i) road users are heterogeneous in their perception and processing of information, as the number of manoeuvres correctly identified as legal relates to their socio-economic characteristics; (ii) the perception of improvements after the provision of information relates also to the road uses' socio-economic characteristics and their driving style and need for closure; (iii) different amounts of information are sufficient for different road users not to feel uncertain regarding manoeuvres being legal at a certain traffic location.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)442-449
Number of pages8
JournalTransportation Research Procedia
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.


  • Multidimensional Driver Style Inventory
  • Need For Closure Scale
  • driver behavior
  • information
  • traffic signs


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