Companies place billboards on high-traffic roads to pass their message to many people. While this is a reliable marketing approach, it can distract drivers. Distracted driving is among the leading causes of accidents.
Here is how roadside advertisements can cause an accident:
Eyes off the road
A driver has to take their eyes off the road to read the message on a billboard or look at the images. They can make a costly mistake within a few seconds of eye movement.
Further, eye-catching billboards with flashy images and colors can attract a long glance, which can be dangerous.
Billboards can take a driver’s mind off driving. For instance, research has shown that restaurants use food images on billboards to stimulate appetite. Thus, a driver who sees such an advert may focus on getting food.
Do road adverts affect all drivers?
Most older drivers are not negatively impacted by billboards. Young and teen drivers make up a high number of those distracted by road adverts. They are more likely to give long glances and act upon the message.
Personal characteristics also play a role in how road adverts are distracting. For example, the chances of a driver interested in a particular product/service being distracted by its advert are higher than someone who is not interested.
Experience also matters. The performance of an experienced driver on a road with numerous adverts may differ from someone with less experience on the same highway.
Even though road advertising is not substantially researched regarding distracted driving like its counterparts – texting/talking on the phone and talking with passengers, it’s a concerning factor that causes accidents. If you have been injured by a driver who was distracted, you should learn about your rights and legal options.