Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

Electronic Billboards Are Making You Crash Your Car

Ever find it distracting that flashing screens advertise products in your face as you attempt to navigate the highway? Well, it’s distracting you whether you know it or not. A new study has found that your eyes are inexorably drawn to their flashing messages, at the expense of looking at road signs or other cars:

The electronic billboards attracted significantly more visual attention than the other traffic signs included in the study. Dwell times were longer, the visual time sharing intensity was higher, very long single glances were more frequent, and the number of fixations were greater for the electronic billboards. Although whether the electronic billboards constitute a traffic safety hazard cannot be answered conclusively based on the present data, these findings do validate existing concerns about the relationship between electronic billboards and higher crash risks.

Might we recommend the Urban Air project, which turns billboards into bamboo gardens? Then again, none of this will be necessary once we get the glowing highway of the future.