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Do Electronic Billboards Pose a Risk to Motorists?

Advancements in modern technology have not only changed everything from the phones we carry in our pockets to the vehicles we drive, but also the roads and highways that we drive on a regular basis. Indeed, where there were once towering billboards plastered with single advertisements illuminated by a host of floodlights, there are now towering billboards dotted with thousands of LEDs capable of running several messages in a digital rotation.

While these new LED billboards have become part of the roadside scenery, there is now a growing concern among some government officials and concerned citizens that they actually pose a very real safety threat to motorists.

How exactly could digital billboards endanger motorists?

While the point of any billboard is to gain the attention of motorists, the aforementioned parties are concerned that digital billboards are perhaps a little too effective in this regard, diverting attention from the road for longer than is safe owing to their rapidly rotating messages or flashing advertisements.

Indeed, some are concerned that the bright and flashing lights of digital billboards not only have the tendency to distract, but also the ability to blind motorists — especially at night and/or in the rain.

Are digital billboards really all that common?

They are probably much more common than you realize. Indeed, experts indicate that the cost of a full-size, two-direction digital billboard has fallen in recent years to around $200,000. This, plus their ability to generate six to eight times more revenue than a standard billboard, has made them that much more appealing.

How many car accidents have been linked to digital billboards?

While no study has yet been officially undertaken to examine the correlation between car accidents and digital billboards, officials in towns throughout Tennessee are becoming increasingly concerned. Indeed, some are even considering drafting new regulations or revising existing ones to make them more stringent.

What does Tennessee law have to say about digital billboards?

Tennessee law dictates that those signs that are “of such intensity or brilliance as to cause glare or to impair vision of the driver of any motor vehicle, or which otherwise interferes with any driver’s operation of a motor vehicle, are prohibited.” It also dictates that billboards must be placed at least 2,000 feet apart.

What about local ordinances?

While local ordinances vary, some municipalities have decided to crack down on digital billboards. For instance, Chattanooga mandates that images must remain in place for 10 seconds before changing, and that light intensity cannot be at more than 30 percent at night and 90 percent during the day.

Stay tuned for updates …

If you or someone you love was injured in a car crash caused by a distracted driver, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible to begin exploring your options for seeking justice.