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Digital Signs and Traffic Safety

Upon the introduction of any new technology, questions invariably arise regarding its use. Some viewers have wondered if the new digital outdoor advertising signs or billboards are so eye-catching that they may be a distraction to drivers. Some of this speculation about safety has been reported in the media.

Anyone can speculate about possible dangers, but research has demonstrated that such speculation is not supported by the facts. A number of research studies have documented there is absolutely no relationship between the existence of digital outdoor advertising signs and traffic accidents.

These studies have been conducted since 2007 applying a standard tool used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The research compared the number of traffic accidents along particular streets or stretches of highway before and after digital billboards were installed.

The research results are unequivocal. There is no statistically significant relationship between accidents and digital billboards. The results show that there was no increase in accidents after digital signs were installed whether the sign was located along a federal interstate highway or a local road, whether the sign was large or small, whether the driver was young or old, whether the sign was viewed during the day or at night. Under none of these circumstances did the existence of a digital billboard increase the number of traffic accidents.

Digital billboards are NOT linked to traffic accidents. The answer to the question "are digital outdoor advertising signs safe?" is definitively "YES".

Outdoor Advertising Association of Wisconsin

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