Many people have been in the situation where a blinding digital billboard makes it impossible to even see what’s happening on the road, let alone focus on your own driving. Advertisers love digital signs because it’s a highly effective and creative way of putting a product into consumers’ faces. But Florida drivers should be wary of these billboards because they may increase the risk of a collision, whether it’s due to your own distracted driving or someone else’s.
This advertising method of the future doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. In fact, digital billboard use has been on the rise for the past decade. It can be expected that drivers in the years to come will be exposed to increasing numbers of bright, flashing advertisements.
Many experts firmly believe that these types of billboards have a marked tendency to distract drivers more than traditional roadside advertisements. Various studies have been conducted to show exactly how long drivers’ eyes are pulled from the road on average because of these signs. According to a study conducted by the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, drivers look at digital signs for over two seconds, which is considerably more time than traditional billboards.
Digital signage poses additional risks to drivers with its digitally illuminated nature. New LED technology allows these billboards to run more brightly than ever, making it hard for the human eye to adjust. This temporary impairment of a person’s vision while operating a vehicle, especially at high speeds on a freeway, significantly increases the chances of a car accident.
A divided opinion on the issue
Other studies have produced findings supporting the idea that digital billboards are no more distracting than regular signs. This is a challenging issue to address because the industry has a significant amount of money in it, with many people relying on these signs for their livelihood. Still, a number of states have noticed the increased risk of car accidents and banned these types of signs altogether.
While the jury’s still out as to whether digital billboards indeed take a driver’s eyes off the road for more than two seconds, it’s indisputable that they are yet another distraction on roads that are already often hazardous. Drivers can protect themselves, their passengers, and others on the road by staying focused on what they’re doing rather than on the bright, shiny product vying for your attention.