Will More Billboards Mean More Traffic-Related Crashes?

There is a proposed state regulation that would regulate digital LED billboards and would allow billboard owners to cut down trees that obscure their billboards. Scenic Kentucky President Marlene Grissom is disappointed with this progress. Grissom is set to appeal to the Transportation Committee that the regulation is disapproved. Grissom further argues that the spread of billboards would be distracting to drivers.

Related: The Different Forms Of Distracted Driving

The three different types of distracted driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving has three different types. First is visual. This is when people take their eyes off the road. Second is manual. This is when drivers take their hands off the wheel. The third type is cognitive. This is when you take your mind off of what you’re doing.

Among the common examples of driving distractions, texting is said to be the most dangerous. That is because it involves all three types of distractions. The act of looking at billboards while driving, on the other hand, can be considered an example of a visual and cognitive distraction.

Distracted driving statistics
Per data from the NHTSA, driver distraction is the number one factor in most crashes. It stated that almost 8% of crashes involved some form of distraction within three seconds prior to the incident. Here in Kentucky, 196 were killed while 14,000 were injured in distracted driving-related crashes in 2014. There have also been studies conducted to analyze the relationship between digital signage and driver distraction. Some of these studies showed inconsistent results. Reports suggest that this is because of incomplete or inaccurate collision data.

Related: Distracted Driving Accidents Underreported

Made to get your attention
Billboards, without a doubt, are designed to get your attention. Their placement is also ironic - by highways, where people are expected to be paying attention to their driving. Still, drivers can choose whether or not they let their mind wander because of the glowing billboards.

As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I would like to remind drivers to always focus on the road, no matter what! Regardless of how the new regulation turns out, remember that distracted driving is dangerous. When you aren’t paying attention to the road, you are risking your life and the lives of others on the road. Whether it’s a cell phone or billboard, always focus on the road.

Michael Schafer
The Personal Injury Attorney for Louisville and Kentucky
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