Visual clutter in road environments - what it does, and what to do about it
Visual clutter in roadscapes, including roadside advertising, is increasing, and there is little research on the effect on driving performance. Research at the Monash University Accident Research Centre investigated the sources and effects of visual clutter. This paper describes a method for assessing the level of clutter in a road scene, and summarises MUARC research on the effects of high levels of visual clutter on visual and driving task performance. The finding that visual clutter impairs these tasks has implications for road design. Suggestions are provided for road engineers to improve this situation when designing and locating road signage and when approving roadside advertising.