Study Finds Digital Billboards may Cause Distracted Driving Accidents

On Behalf of | May 31, 2013 | Personal Injury

A Swedish study has concluded that flashing, digital billboards often take a driver’s eyes off the road for more than two seconds, which could contribute to car accidents. The result of the study was recently published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention.

In 2006, a 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. Researchers in this new study say the digital billboards are brighter, are visible from further away, and show changing advertisements, all contributing to holding a driver’s attention for longer.

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.”

In 2007, the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) allowed digital signs for the first time after concluding they did not pose a significant danger to drivers. There are more than 1,800 digital billboards nationwide, more than double the number five years ago. The FHA requires states to regulate the distance between signs and how long one image can remain on screen before changing to another.

If the researchers in this study are correct, then digital billboards are one more item that can be added to the ever-growing list of things that distract drivers and may contribute to accidents. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact an experienced Austin personal injury attorney today to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries