Closed-Course Study to Examine the Effect of Alcohol Impairment on a Driver's Ability to Identify and Read Signs Academic Article uri icon


  • Because alcohol has been found to be the primary contributing factor in many wrong-way crash studies, researchers at Texas A&M Research Institute conducted a nighttime closed-course study to investigate the behaviors of alcohol-impaired drivers and determine their interpretations of various traffic control devices. Researchers found that alcohol-impaired drivers tended to look less to the left and right and more toward the pavement in front of the vehicle. In addition, researchers confirmed that alcohol-impaired drivers did not actively search the forward-facing scene as much as nonimpaired drivers. Instead, alcohol-impaired drivers concentrated their glances in a smaller area within the forward-facing scene. Researchers also confirmed that drivers at higher blood alcohol concentration levels took longer to locate signs and had to be closer to a sign before they could identify the sign background color and read the sign legend. In addition, alcohol-impaired drivers had to be closer to signs with flashing red LEDs around the border before they could read the legend compared with signs without flashing LEDs.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Finley, M. D., Miles, J. D., & Park, E. S.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Finley, Melisa D||Miles, Jeffrey D||Park, Eun Sug

publication date

  • January 2017