More road signs could come up on a roadside near you ::



– Researchers at North Carolina State University found that allowing more restaurants, hotels, and gas stations to advertise on blue information signs near freeway exits does not increase risk for the safety of drivers.

Federal regulations limit these signs to six logos each, but the state Department of Transportation wanted to see if it could safely add more logos.

“A lot of companies want to advertise this way, but you don’t have much space,” said David Kaber, professor emeritus in the state’s Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial Engineering and Systems. from North Carolina. “If you had more panels it could be more visually inconvenient for the driver.”

Researchers have found that up to a quarter of vehicle crashes are due to distracted driving.

Kaber designed a study with a driving simulator in which volunteers took a virtual ride, and he measured their level of distraction using signs with six logos and some with nine logos.

“Between the six panel and the nine panel, there are no significant differences,” he said.

Kaber said he believes even more logos could be added to the signs without a problem. The signs aren’t as distracting as texting while driving, he said, because people are using them for something specific.

“You know what the Golden Arches look like. You’re going to pick them up. It’s very easy to do this type of scanning,” he said.

The DOT is testing nine-logo signs in parts of North Carolina to collect data on costs and benefits.

Meanwhile, NC State plans to study digital traffic signs and whether they contribute to driver distraction.


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