Digital Billboard Studies

Safety studies

Safety Impacts of the Emerging Digital Display Technology for Outdoor Advertising Signs
The objective of this study was to develop guidance for State Departments of Transportation and other highway operating agencies with respect to the safety implications of digital display technology being increasingly used for outdoor advertising signs.  This groundbreaking report found evidence that drivers look longer at digital signs than they do at static billboards, and that glances away from the road of two seconds or more greatly increase the risk of a crash or near-crash.

A Critical, Comprehensive Review of Two Studies Recently Released by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (PDF)
July 2007 saw the release of two industry-sponsored studies which concluded that digital billboards are no more likely to cause traffic accidents than conventional billboards. The billboard industry has since cited the studies numerous times as evidence that the proliferation of digital billboards poses no safety threat to the motoring public.  Now, an objective, expert analysis of the studies has been prepared for the Maryland State Highway Administration by Jerry Wachtel, a highly regarded traffic safety expert. His report is extremely critical of the conclusions and methodology of both studies and effectively debunks them.

Environmental studies

As digital signage continues to proliferate around the country, a new report examines the technical, environmental, economic and regulatory issues surrounding this emerging technology.

Click on the links in the box at the right to download the report.  The full report (2mb) is at the top and relevant excerpts from the report are listed below that.

Although much attention has been paid to the driver safety impacts of digital signage, there has been relatively little research regarding the environmental and energy-consumption issues raised by this new technology.

This paper, for the first time, provides citizens and regulators with a solid starting point for exploring those issues and sets the ground for further discussion.

The paper was authored by Gregory Young, LEED AP, an architectural designer and urban planner active in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  A recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, his research was supported by a generous grant from the Samuel F. Fels Fund, and performed in collaboration with the Philadelphia-based organization SCRUB: the Public Voice for Public Space.

Click here to read an article and interview with Gregory Young about this study in the Philadelphia Inquierer.