Engineer: Digital Billboards Not Linked to Accidents
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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2010

Engineer: Digital Billboards Not Linked to Accidents

Philadelphia, PA ­ Eight years of data covering 35,000 traffic accidents in Reading, PA, indicates digital billboards are not related to traffic accidents, according to a new traffic safety analysis released today. The study, conducted by Philadelphia’s Tantala Associates, LLC, is the latest in a growing body of evidence showing digital billboards do not pose a problem for drivers.

“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.

The Reading study reviewed accident records in proximity to 26 digital billboard faces on state and local roads. More than 233 million cars pass by these billboards every year.

The data came from local police and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation accident records. 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.

“At some point, the evidence just starts to become overwhelming,” said Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) President and CEO Nancy Fletcher. “The Reading data matches data from Cleveland, Rochester, and Albuquerque, and it all says the same thing: digital billboards are safe.”

The report was commissioned by the Foundation for Outdoor Advertising Research and Education (FOARE). Reading was chosen because it is also the site of a federal human factors study on the effect of digital billboards on driver behavior.

For more information about the study or to arrange an interview with the researcher, contact Jeff Golimowski (jgolimowski@oaaa.org) at (202) 833-5566.

OAAA is the trade association representing the outdoor advertising industry. It is dedicated to leading and uniting a responsible outdoor advertising industry that is committed to serving the needs of advertisers, consumers, and communities. The nearly 800 OAAA member companies generate $5.9 billion annually in ad revenues, representing more than 90% of industry income, and donate space to charitable organizations in excess of $400 million each year.

OAAA (Outdoor Advertising Association of America)
1850 M Street, N.W., Suite 1040
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-833-5566
E-Mail: info@oaaa.org
Website URL: www.oaaa.org

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