Auto Accidents

Do Billboards Distract Drivers and Cause Accidents?

The answer is not that simple.

Cause-AccidentsRecently, digital billboards have become trendy, and why not? They allow a single billboard to contain multiple advertisements, and most people agree they are more attractive than traditional billboards, which translates to more money for billboard owners and more elaborate displays for consumers.

Lately, people have begun to question whether these new digital billboards cause traffic accidents. It has long been known that driver distractions account for many accidents. From texting while driving, eating while driving, to a screaming infant in the back seat, distractions can cause serious traffic accidents. According to one study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2010, driver distraction was responsible for 5474 traffic fatalities and another 448,000 traffic accident injuries.

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However, the question remains, are these digital billboards a significant factor in causing traffic accidents?

There is a significant expense to advertisers in producing a digital advertisement. There is no doubt that advertisers believe the additional expense associated with producing a digital advertisement is worth the expense to capture the attention of a vehicle’s occupants including drivers. However, despite the success in attracting attention, there have been no conclusive studies regarding the safety impact of digital billboards.

A recent study performed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) was not released because it is believed the study was botched and unreliable. Therefore, the debate whether digital billboards are a traffic hazard rages on.

The bottom line is that drivers need to be aware that distractions, whether a digital billboard or a cell phone, do exist and every care needs to be taken to maintain focus on the task at hand—driving. Drivers should not use cell phones while driving, text message while driving (even read text messages while driving). Drivers should also take care to avoid distractions whenever possible, and if they need to focus their attention elsewhere, should pull over first. A driver’s own safety and the safety of a vehicle’s passengers should be the top priority. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you are a passenger in a car with a driver who seems distracted. Remind the driver to keep their eyes on the road.

If you or someone you know have been injured in a car accident and need an experienced New York car accident attorney to help you call (718) 993-9999 or send us an email to schedule a free consultation. Our main office is located in the Bronx, near the Deegan Expressway and easily accessible by trains numbers 2, 4 and 5 at the 149th Street station and Grand Concourse. Our office in Queens is located on Roosevelt Avenue, near Junction Boulevard station number 7 train. Our office in Manhattan is located on Fifth Avenue near Bryant Park. The Office of Oresky & Associates, PLLC., represents people injured throughout the State of New York, including New York City, the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn (Kings County), Staten Island (Richmond County), Westchester, Long Island, Suffolk County and Nassau County.

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