Possible link between electronic billboards and highway crashes

January 29, 2013

A new study published in Traffic Injury Prevention has found that drivers take more and longer glances at electronic billboards than regular signs, indicating a possible link between these digital signs and highway crashes.

Eye-grabbing, electronic signs replacing traditional billboards along highways are meant to attract and keep the attention of passersby with bright colors and constantly changing messages. The ramifications for traffic safety have been long debated, and this study provides scientific evidence previously lacking.

The study used sophisticated eye-tracking devices to monitor the visual behaviors of experienced drivers passing traditional and electronic billboards during day and night conditions. The experimental route was a 40km long stretch of a three-lane motorway with heavy traffic running through central Stockholm, Sweden.

The electronic billboards attracted significantly more than the other traffic signs included in the study. Dwell times were longer, the visual time sharing intensity was higher, very long single glances were more frequent, and the number of fixations were greater for the electronic billboards. Although whether the electronic billboards constitute a traffic safety hazard cannot be answered conclusively based on the present data, these findings do validate existing concerns about the relationship between electronic billboards and higher crash risks.

Explore further: Unique driving simulation helps URI researchers test effectiveness of highway signs

More information: www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15389588.2012.731546

Related Stories

New LED technology and leading light for advertisers

October 14, 2008

A new lightweight LED screen developed by UQ Business School's Enterprize business plan competition finalist, LAADtech, proposes to make outdoor advertising more versatile and easier to install.

Calif. license plates might go digital, show ads

June 21, 2010

(AP) -- As electronic highway billboards flashing neon advertisements become more prevalent, the next frontier in distracted driving is already approaching - ad-blaring license plates.

Power-slurping signs

April 26, 2011

Every eight seconds, the message changed. Drivers whizzing by on I-95 in Northeast Philadelphia might have seen an ad for American Idol, which then flashed to ones for a Sixers game, a Target sale, 95.7 Ben-FM, and a Lenovo ...

Recommended for you

Can genes make us liberal or conservative?

August 4, 2015

Aristotle may have been more on the money than he realised in saying man is a political animal, according to research published Wednesday linking genes with liberal or conservative leanings.

Model shows how surge in wealth inequality may be reversed

July 30, 2015

(Phys.org)—For many Americans, the single biggest problem facing the country is the growing wealth inequality. Based on income tax data, wealth inequality in the US has steadily increased since the mid-1980s, with the top ...

Earliest evidence of reproduction in a complex organism

August 3, 2015

Researchers led by the University of Cambridge have found the earliest example of reproduction in a complex organism. Their new study has found that some organisms known as rangeomorphs, which lived 565 million years ago, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.