The development and use of non-traditional safety messages are distinctly different than messages typically displayed on highway signs. Such messages attempt to provoke an emotional response and may reference themes like popular culture, sports, or use rhymes.
This study quantified the effectiveness of non-traditional dynamic message sign messages based on driver responses. For the study, 300 drivers in Virginia were surveyed about 80 messages concerning general safe driving topics, such as driving without a seat belt, impaired and drowsy driving, aggressive driving, and distracted driving. The participants were asked about their perception of these messages to change driver behavior, to identify the intent of the message, and to recall messages they had seen. A novel neuroimaging instrument called functional near - infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) was used to quantify the differences in how non-traditional messages are received, processed, and cognitively interpreted by drivers.
The following suggestions are recommended for developing new messages based on the empirical findings: