Investigation of habituation effects in the use of fluorescent materials

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  Photo of traffic signs Copyright: © ISAC

Problem Definition

Signage along traffic routes is an extremely important part of road infrastructure. It also plays a significant role in influencing road users. Particularly deep consideration should be given at this point to signage within special use areas. These include, for example, work sites, areas in front of curves or areas with an increased probability of children playing. Here, road users are required to pay increased attention to ensure safe traffic flow. In some cases, retro-reflective and fluorescent materials are integrated into the signage to ensure and improve traffic safety, as these are demonstrably perceived more quickly by road users. However, impacts on the long-term effects of this particularly conspicuous signage are not known.

Project Goal

This research project investigates and demonstrates possible habituation effects during long-term use of fluorescent materials. In the course of the field experiment, the deviating effects between conventional and fluorescent traffic signs will be evaluated and taken into account.

For the later (practicable) integration of fluorescent materials in the traffic area, recommendations for the use of fluorescent signage in special application areas will be developed on the basis of the collected findings.


Within the scope of the project, various special application areas within selected test routes will be equipped with fluorescent signage and driver behavior will be recorded and evaluated. At the same time, driver behavior will also be recorded on reference routes with comparable boundary conditions and conventional equipment. Driving behavior is recorded by means of thermal cameras in compliance with data protection regulations. In this way, a continuous and largely weather-independent survey can be guaranteed.