Effects of Visual Distraction on Reaction Time in a Simulated Traffic Environment

Charles J. Holahan, Ralph E. Culler, Brian L. Wilcox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


This study investigated the effect of visual distraction on reaction time to a target stimulus in a simulated traffic environment. Subjects viewed slides of simulated roadside signs, some of which included a traffic stop sign. Reaction time was measured to their “stop” or “go” response. As predicted, the number and color of distractors, as well as the proximity of distractors to the target stop sign, all had significant effects on reaction time: In addition, all two-way interactions between the distractor dimensions were statistically significant. Practical suggestions for reducing visual distraction in the traffic environment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-413
Number of pages5
JournalHuman Factors: The Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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