Comprehension of pictograms for variable message signs

Juha Luoma, Pirkko Rämä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article describes a study on the use of pictograms on variable message signs to provide driver information. Interpretation of pictograms varies between high comprehension and obscurity. Data was collected in six countries, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece and the Netherlands. Various pictogram signs were chosen and drivers questioned as to whether they understood the message and whether the pictogram or a text message would be better. Many of the signs seemed to be open to misinterpretation and it was found that signs were more likely to be correctly interpreted if presented in context. The text message was more clearly understood, and the red triangle seemed to be understood as a warning sign by most drivers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
JournalTraffic Engineering & Control
Volume42
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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Variable message signs
Pictogram
comprehension
Driver
driver
Greece
Finland
Triangle
Netherlands
Likely
France
Vary
interpretation

Cite this

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Comprehension of pictograms for variable message signs. / Luoma, Juha; Rämä, Pirkko.

In: Traffic Engineering & Control, Vol. 42, No. 2, 2001, p. 53-58.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AU - Rämä, Pirkko

PY - 2001

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AB - This article describes a study on the use of pictograms on variable message signs to provide driver information. Interpretation of pictograms varies between high comprehension and obscurity. Data was collected in six countries, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece and the Netherlands. Various pictogram signs were chosen and drivers questioned as to whether they understood the message and whether the pictogram or a text message would be better. Many of the signs seemed to be open to misinterpretation and it was found that signs were more likely to be correctly interpreted if presented in context. The text message was more clearly understood, and the red triangle seemed to be understood as a warning sign by most drivers.

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