Distracted Driving, European Transport Safety Lecture

  • Published: European Safety Transport Council, 2011
  • Authors: G. Yannis
  • Date Added: 07 Feb 2013
  • Last Update: 07 Feb 2013
  • Format: pdf

Objectives: Presentation on driver distraction and RTIs. Based on a study conducted in Greece to identify the causes of driver distraction (internal and external distractions) and methods of reducing driver distraction and therefore RTIs.

Methodology: The presentation provides a summary of findings from a study carried out in Greece on distractions during driving. The study consisted of a comprehensive international literature review (90+ studies) and a series of experiments into driver distraction in Greece (including roadside and in-vehicle observation, questionnaires and driver simulation exercises). The focus of the study is distraction due to mobile phone use (internal distraction) and distraction due to advertising signs (external distraction).

Key Findings:

  • Driver distraction constitutes an important factor of increased risk of road RTI worldwide.

  • In existing research, it was revealed that approximately 30 per cent of drivers that were involved in a road RTI reported some source of distraction before the RTI occurred.

  • External distractions are thought to cause 2 per cent of fatal road RTIs and 1 per cent of total road RTIs. Visual impairments (which could include those caused by signs) are thought to account for 27 per cent of fatal RTIs and 24 per cent of total RTIs).

  • Research on labels and advertising signs is not conclusive so far as regards their impact on RTI risk.

  • The location and position of labels and advertising signs might have different impact to the distraction of driver attention.

  • Labels and advertising signs resembling (in size and form) to traffic signs or other traffic indicators create confusion.

  • Many effective roadway design and operation practices that improve traffic safety in general, such as edge line and centreline rumble strips, can warn distracted drivers or can mitigate the consequences of distracted driving.


Distraction, signs, advertising signs, safety, RTI


Powerpoint presentation only but fairly robust. Signs only form a small part of the analysis. Based on findings of a large number of international studies. Referencing is adequate.