Driver Distraction in an Era of Rapid Technological Change, Digital Advertising Billboards

Outdoor advertising signs impact millions of travelers around the world every day. These signs are designed to attract driver attention thus taking it away from the driving task. Driver inattention and distraction are two of the most critical factors for road safety. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) regulation of outdoor advertising signs must deal with changing technologies, including digital billboards, which allow for modifications to sign illumination, motion, and content. Regulations are not keeping pace with changing sign trends and must be updated to address potential impacts on road user safety. This research project focuses on the degree of driver distraction caused by typical and digital advertising sign contents. The project includes a comprehensive state-of-the-practice review, crash investigation, and an on-road human factors evaluation. The illumination levels and content (including motion) during daytime and nighttime travel for dry and wet-weather conditions are considered. This research project will provide TxDOT with tools and resources to help manage outdoor digital advertising billboards by establishing practical criteria for sign illumination and content. These resources will allow TxDOT to manage the advertising signs such that road user safety is accounted for while maintaining the ability of sign owners to develop effective means of communicating with the public.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $404051
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Managing Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Project Managers:

    Kasberg, Katelyn

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135

    Center for Transportation Research

    3925 W. Braker Lane
    Austin, TX  United States  78759
  • Principal Investigators:

    Pike, Adam

  • Start Date: 20220901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20210831
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01863317
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0-7138
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Nov 3 2022 12:26PM