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New Study Suggests Digital Billboards Another Road Distraction

A new Swedish study found that electronic billboards create a new distraction on the highways and may raise the risks of crashes.

The study, published online by the journal Traffic Injury Prevention said that drivers tend to look longer at electronic billboards. The study took 41 drivers and had them drive an instrumented vehicle passing four electronic billboards during both day and night conditions. Researchers considered a driver "distracted" if they looked at a billboard for more than two seconds or if the driver looked away from the road for a longer percentage of time.

According to the report, drivers dwelled significantly longer and had more fixations driving past electronic billboards than driving past other signs in the same road stretches.

An article on fairwarning.org said the U.S. billboard industry has criticized the study and was disputed by a February 2012 study by the Federal Highway Administration whose findings said distraction time was well below safety thresholds.

There are an estimated 2,000 - 3,000 electronic billboards out of the more than 400,000 billboards across the country. Although the study suggested there was more distraction, the study didn't reach any specific conclusions on whether or not the billboards were actually dangerous.

In their conclusion the report states, "Whether the electronic billboards attract too much attention and constitute a traffic safety hazard cannot be answered conclusively based on the present data."

If you or your loved one has suffered serious injuries in any type of car crash, it is imperative to speak with a Wisconsin personal injury attorney today to discuss your situation. Call for your free, initial consultation.