Office of Operations
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Effectiveness of Safety and Public Service Announcement Messages on Dynamic Message Signs

Printable Version [PDF 7.4 MB]
You may need the Adobe® Reader® to view the PDFs on this page.
Contact Information:

United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

Office of Operations
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Office of Operations Web Site

July 2014




This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Table of Contents

[ Technical Report Documentation Page ]

Executive Summary

CHAPTER 1. Introduction

CHAPTER 2. Organizational and Institutional Frameworks for Safety and PSA Messages in the Four Urban Areas





CHAPTER 3. Survey Design and Execution Plan

Survey Design

Priority Messages

Survey Format

Survey Questionnaire/Content

Survey Execution

Subject Recruitment

Survey Locations for In-Person Interviews

Pilot Study

Live In-Person Survey

Survey Results

Lessons Learned from the Pilot Survey

CHAPTER 4. Adjustments to the Survey Execution Plan

Final Data Collection Logistics





CHAPTER 5. Results and Analysis

Descriptive Statistics

Interpretations of PSAs

Inferential Statistics

CHAPTER 6. Findings and Recommendations/Guidance

Appendix A: Survey Questionnaires





Appendix B: Sample Size Calculation

Appendix C: Potential Survey Locations by City


List of Figures

Figure 1. Photo. Pilot survey location

Figure 2. Chart. Recognition of PSA messages

Figure 3. Chart. Number of collisions and number of ticket instances in the past 5 years

Figure 4. Photo. Houston survey sites

Figure 5. Photo. Philadelphia survey sites

Figure 6. Photo. Orlando survey sites

Figure 7. Photo. Chicago survey sites

Figure 8 (a) (b) (c). Chart. PSA “ride safely, sober, live free, ride alive.”

Figure 9 (a) (b) (c). Chart. PSA “eyes on road, hands on wheel.”

Figure 10 (a) (b) (c) (d). Chart. Comparable PSA messages by city

Figure 11 (a) (b). Chart. Additional PSA messages in Houston

Figure 12 (a) (b) (c) (d). Chart. Top 10 most recognized PSAs by city

Figure 13 (a) (b) (c) (d). Chart. “How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements…”

Figure 14 (a) (b) (c) (d). Chart. “How important is it to provide information to drivers on the following…”

Figure 15 (a) (b) (c) (d). Chart. “Would you change your driving behavior or habits when you see the following PSA on DMS while driving…”

List of Tables

Table 1. Recommended messages for Chicago, IL

Table 2. Recommended messages for Houston, TX

Table 3. Recommended messages for Orlando, FL

Table 4. Recommended messages for Philadelphia, PA

Table 5. Educational level of study participants

Table 6. Household income in $/year of study participants

Table 7. Level of enforcement

Table 8. Would you change your driving behavior when you see the listed PSAs?

Table 9. Whether to change driving patterns or habits based on the following PSAs

Table 10. Original Houston survey locations

Table 11. Updated Houston survey locations based on state DOT feedback

Table 12. Survey locations visited in Houston during first visit

Table 13. Survey locations visited in Houston during second visit

Table 14. Original Philadelphia survey locations

Table 15. Updated Philadelphia survey locations based on state DOT feedback

Table 16. Survey locations visited in Philadelphia

Table 17. Original Orlando survey locations

Table 18. Updated Orlando survey locations based on state DOT feedback

Table 19. Survey locations visited in Orlando

Table 20. Original Chicago survey locations

Table 21. Updated Chicago survey locations based on state DOT feedback

Table 22. Survey locations visited in Chicago

Table 23. Demographics by survey city

Table 24. Driving experience by survey city

Table 25. Socioeconomic characteristics of the survey respondents

Table 26. General opinions of PSAs on DMS

Table 27. Binary logit model for predicting perceived usefulness

Table 28. Binary logit model for predicting perceived effectiveness when compared to other media

Table 29. Perceived usefulness of PSAs on DMS summary

Table 30. Perceived effectiveness of PSAs on DMS summary

Table 31. PSAs on DMS—recommendations and guidance

Table 32. Needed number of responses n as a function of P and d

Table 33. Potential survey locations—Houston, TX

Table 34. Potential survey locations—Chicago, IL

Table 35. Potential survey locations—Orlando, FL

Table 36. Potential survey locations—Philadelphia, PA

Office of Operations