ALEXANDRIA, VA – The installation of on-premise electronic message centers does not result in an increase in traffic accidents, according to a new study conducted at Texas A&M University on behalf of the Signage Foundation, Inc. The study covered 135 signs in four states over the span of four years, and used crash/accident data from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Highway Safety Information System (HSIS) database.

The study, “Statistical Analysis of the Relationship between On-Premise Digital Signage and Traffic Safety,” included on-premise signs installed in 2006 and 2007 in California, North Carolina, Ohio and Washington. By including only those signs erected during that time frame, researchers had a significant amount of data in the period before and after the signs’ installations. The four states were chosen because they contribute to the HSIS database.

Researchers found:

  • No statistically significant change in crashes after the installation of on-premise digital signs. The results were consistent in each of the four states.
  • There were no statistically significant differences when comparing single vehicle crashes and those involving multiple vehicles.
  • There was no measurable difference for signs with single or multi-colored EMCs.

“This study provides empirical evidence for what common sense and experience have always told us: that EMCs do not constitute a safety hazard,” said David Hickey, ISA’s vice president of government relations. “This only adds to the body of research and information available to local officials and community leaders so that they can draft reasonable sign codes based on objective standards and academic research, not personal opinion.”

The complete study can be found on the SFI website.

ISA has developed numerous resources related to EMCs, helping communities to better understand the technology. Those resources are available at www.signs.org/emc.