According to a new study, conducted by Philadelphia's Tantala Associates, digital billboards do not pose a problem for drivers. Eight years of data covering 35,000 traffic accidents, with more than 233 million cars passing by these billboards every year in Reading, PA, finds that digital billboards are not related to traffic accidents.
"The overall conclusion of the study is that digital billboards in the greater Reading area have no statistically significant relationship with the occurrence of accidents," the report says.
In addition to the overall lack of a relationship between digital billboards and traffic accidents, the study looked at other factors and measures. Driver age and time of day are neutral factors. And, for the first time, a predictive method called the "Empirical Bayes Method" was used to determine if accidents near digital billboards are inconsistent with what is statistically predicted. The answer was an unequivocal no.
Previous studies in Ohio, Minnesota, and New Mexico found similar results. Combined, five studies in four locations have examined over 100,000 traffic accidents. In all cases, the science indicates there is no correlation between the presence of digital billboards and an increase in accidents.
Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) President and CEO Nancy Fletcher concludes that "... the evidence... become(s) overwhelming... the Reading data matches data from Cleveland, Rochester, and Albuquerque, and it all says the same thing: digital billboards are safe."
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