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New Foundation Research Finds Billboards Do Not Inhibit Driver Performance

Suzanne E Lee, Principal Investigator, VTTI
The results of a ground-breaking research study on billboards and driver performance were announced at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, held January 11-15 in Washington, DC. According to the study, which was conducted by the Center for Causation and Human Factors at Virginia Tech’s Transportation Institute (VTTI) and commissioned by the Foundation for Outdoor Advertising Research and Education (FOARE), driver performance, speed maintenance, and lane keeping were not measurably impaired in any way along highways and other roads with billboards.

Given some of the recent focus on driver distraction issues, the Foundation felt this was an appropriate time to study the impact of billboards on driving behavior. VTTI was selected to conduct the study because of its reputation as a national leader in transportation research, especially on issues related to driver performance.

Using actual driving conditions, the Virginia Tech research project analyzed the driving behavior of participants at billboard sites, comparison sites and baseline sites along a 35-mile loop in the Charlotte, NC metro area. The cars used in the study were equipped with cameras that captured the forward view and two views of the driver’s face and eyes as well as a data collection system to capture speed, lane deviation, GPS location and other driving performance measurements.

The executive summary of the study is posted on the Foundation section of this website (

For more information about this study, please contact Myron Laible at


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