Traffic sign symbol comprehension: a cross-cultural study

@article{Shinar2003TrafficSS,
  title={Traffic sign symbol comprehension: a cross-cultural study},
  author={David Shinar and Robert E. Dewar and Heikki Summala and Lidia Żakowska},
  journal={Ergonomics},
  year={2003},
  volume={46},
  pages={1549 - 1565}
}
The objective of this study was to evaluate the comprehension levels of highway traffic sign symbols used in different countries, to identify underlying rules that affect comprehension levels, and recommend approaches to deal with the problem. The need for such an evaluation was based on today's travel culture where people are often licensed in one country and then drive—without any further training—in another country. We compared the comprehension levels of different traffic sign symbols in… 
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Study on the Relationship between Drivers’ Personal Characters and Non-Standard Traffic Signs Comprehensibility
  • A. Wontorczyk, S. Gaca
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    International journal of environmental research and public health
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There is a link between personality traits of the driver and the comprehensibility of symbolic regulatory signs, and the obtained results indicate that symbolic signs, unlike symbolic and text ones, are much better comprehended by drivers.
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References

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Previous research has shown that drivers, particularly elderly ones, do not understand many of the symbolic traffic signs on U.S. highways. Phase I of this research examined comprehension levels of
The Semantic Differential as an Index of Traffic Sign Perception and Comprehension
TLDR
It was concluded that the semantic differential is a valid instrument for evaluating comprehension of symbolic sign messages and that it has advantages over other techniques.
Guidelines for Traffic Sign Symbols
TLDR
The results of these studies served as the basis for recommended changes to current traffic sign symbols and the development of guidelines for their design.
BETTER SIGNS FOR BETTER ROAD SAFETY
This study investigates the effectiveness of traffic signs, as described in the Vienna Convention, in sending information, warnings, and orders to drivers to create a safe driving environment. This
CRITERIA FOR THE DESIGN AND EVALUATION OF TRAFFIC SIGN SYMBOLS
The ergonomics of road signs: explicit and embedded speed limits
The European traffic sign system encodes the meaning of a sign by use of varying forms, colours and symbols. However, signs differ greatly in how explicit their message is. Thus, the meaning of most
MOTORIST UNDERSTANDING OF ALTERNATIVE DESIGNS FOR TRAFFIC SIGNS. FINAL REPORT
TLDR
The primary recommendations include: retain the current standard for use, adopt the standard word message sign as the preferred sign over the standard symbol sign, adopt an alternative design which demonstrated an improved comprehension, and/or conduct additional evaluations to further study a particular device in more detail.
Investigation on traffic signs to improve road safety
TLDR
The correctness of the basic assumptions in the study are proved, like understanding of some traffic signs clarity reached very low rate, and that such signs information and messages to drivers are ambiguous and even sometimes sent wrong and violating information.
REDESIGN AND EVALUATION OF SELECTED WORK ZONE SIGN SYMBOLS
Driver Understanding of Alternative Traffic Signs
TLDR
Recommendations for each traffic control device were based on results and include retaining the current standard design because of adequate comprehension levels, modifying the design or use of the device to increase comprehension level, or conducting further research to better understand driver comprehension difficulties.
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