Federal Highway Administration study confirms safety of digital billboards and signs!
The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration has released a landmark study, years in the making, that declares digital billboards and signs do not pose a safety risk to passing motorists. For those within the digital sign industry, this result of the study is no surprise. Cities and communities across the U.S that have used this concern to ban or put a moratorium on LED displays. Definitive proof that the long fear of digital displays causing more accidents to motorists is now officially a myth.
For the purposes of the studies, The FHA refers to digital billboards as Commercial Electronic Variable Message Signs (CEVMS). The study sought to look at three major concerns:
- Do CEVMS attract drivers' attention away from the forward roadway and other driving relevant stimuli?
- Do glances to CEVMS occur that would suggest a decrease in safety?
- Do drivers look at CEVMS more than at traditional billboards?
To conduct the study, the FHA tracked participant's eye movements with an eye-tracking camera device mounted in the vehicle. This device was able to track the driver's eyeball movement and determine if the driver was looking ahead at the roadway or off to the side of the roadway at a static billboard or CEVMS.
The research concluded that drivers do indeed look at digital billboards longer than they do at static billboards. Glance duration toward digital billboards averaged 0.379 seconds, while glances at static traditional billboards were at 0.335 seconds at both test sites. Both of these measurements fall far below the two-second benchmark which would constitute a hazard, according to the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In conclusion, the study states, "These results did not provide evidence indicating that CEVMS, as deployed and tested in the two selected cities, were associated with unacceptably long glances away from the road. When dwell times longer than the currently accepted threshold of 2,000 ms (milliseconds) occurred, the road ahead was still in the driver's field of view.
This study should help put to rest concerns that digital billboards and the other outdoor digital signs, pose a hazard to passing motorists. This study will also help cities struggling with regulating digital LED displays. This study will also help pave the way for communities to bring this powerful outdoor advertising medium to their communities, benefiting not just local operators and advertisers but the entire local economy as well.
For more information contact: Judy Dennis, Business Development Manager, LED Resource. 10963 Cutten Rd. C-102 Houston, TX 77066 firstname.lastname@example.org