A new study has concluded that digital billboards often take a driver’s eyes off the road for more than two seconds, which could contribute to accidents. The Swedish study was recently published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention. Researchers say the billboards are brighter, are visible from further away, and show changing advertisements, all contributing to holding a driver’s attention for longer.
A 2006 study by Virginia Tech for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road for more than two seconds increases the risk of a crash.
A statement from Mary Tracy, president of Scenic America, a national nonprofit group that seeks to limit billboards, says that the new study validates the dangers of digital billboards. "Bright, constantly changing signs on the side of the road are meant to attract and keep the attention of drivers, and this study confirms that is exactly what they do."
There are more than 1,800 digital billboards nationwide, more than double the number five years ago. The Federal Highway Administration requires states to regulate the distance between signs and how long one image can remain on screen before changing to another.
The North Carolina Injury Lawyer Perspective:
Our firm has reported on multiple accidents where distracted driving was determined to be the cause. Many people, despite the statistics, think “it’s okay just this once”, with sometimes deadly consequences. We’ve also published an In-Depth Legal Report on the Risks Associated with Distracted Driving.
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact a North Carolina personal injury attorney to find out what you may be entitled to for the pain and loss you’ve suffered.
NHTSA Headquarters, Washgington DC