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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 72783 Find in a Library
Title: Effectiveness of Two Types of Witness Appeal Sign
Journal: Ergonomics  Volume:22  Issue:10  Dated:(1979)  Pages:1125-1140
Author(s): A S R Manstead; J S Lee
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Great Britain Home Office
Hertfordshire AL4 9HQ, England
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: A study investigating the effectiveness of two types of signs which appeal for witnesses to serious traffic accidents occurring in Great Britain is presented.
Abstract: The old type of sign presents verbal information on a single board. The new type of sign presents a mixture of verbal and pictorial information in a sequence of three component signs. Study subjects consisted of drivers of all cars and light trucks who passed predefined survey points within a specified 2-hour period. A traffic policeman set up an interview area for vehicles and pedestrians. Drivers were asked by interviewers to answer a short series of questions in connection with the road signs observed. A total of 630 respondents participated in questionnaire completion. Thus, data concerning the noticing, description, and interpretation of these signs were collected from drivers and pedestrians. As there were four versions of the new sign, it was decided that there should be four interview dates, allowing for display of each version. Questions included whether signs were observed, how many signs were observed, what was depicted on the signs, what the respondent thought the signs were supposed to indicate, how often the respondent traveled the road, whether respondent had witnessed an accident, and whether respondent helped or acted as a witness if he had observed an accident. The central finding was that the new sign was more effective than the old sign in communicating the witness appeal message to drivers, largely because it was much more likely to be noticed. The old sign, however, was more effective for pedestrians. Some differences were noticed regarding respondent sex, age, and familiarity with the road. Those with prior experience of witnessing accidents were more likely to interpret the signs correctly. It is suggested that old signs be used in conjunction with new wherever it is important to communicate the witness appeal message to pedestrians. Tables, figures, and 10 references are included in the article. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Accident investigation; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Studies; Traffic control equipment; Witnesses
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