Can Roadside Ads Cause Distractions For Drivers? Here Is What You Need To Know

Few things require as much concentration and vigilance as driving does. In fact, even if you’re at your peak concentration, it still doesn’t guarantee safety. The pure fact that so many variables are ultimately unpredictable makes driving incredibly complicated, and car accidents common. All the more reason for you to be attentive in order to reduce the probability of something going wrong.

Keeping all that in mind, it’s important for us to think about impactful variables when it comes to driving. This not only helps us understand what to focus on when driving, but it also impacts those that have control over other impactful factors. One such factor is roadside ads. In order to help you understand more about the impact of roadside ads, we have created this article. Here, we’re going to be discussing all the things related to this problem. Let’s dive right in.

Distractions When Driving

So, what are the most impactful distractions when you’re on the road? If you ask car accident lawyers, the most common causes of car accidents are phones and DUI’s. While those definitely are leading causes and quite straightforward answers, things are not all that simple. In fact, variables that affect your concentration while driving are more complicated than you might think.

Take for example, all the things that a driver must pay attention to while on the road. At all times, a driver must be aware of both the locations and the speeds of other road users. Additionally, one must be aware of lane markings, all the traffic signals, and speed limits. If you aren’t driving in an area that you know all that well, the probability is high that you are looking at some sort of direction as well. Now, if you take all that into consideration, you are probably starting to understand how even minor distractions can impact your driving. So, let’s see how roadside ads come into play here.

Roadside Ads and their Visual Impact

It’s no secret that our visual focus strays toward colorful things that stand out from the rest of our plane of sight. Now, if you think about advertising in general, you can probably deduce a few similarities. All are made to catch your eye one way or another. Be it a catchy phrase, great visuals, or the sheer size of the ad. This tactic is used everywhere – from digital advertising to billboards and buildings. 

Having that and what we talked about earlier in mind, let’s dissect the connection even further. It is without a doubt that even a couple of seconds without focusing on the road can be the cause of an accident. So, if you compile all that we’ve talked about so far, you might deduce that roadside ads are incredibly problematic. 

You’d be right to think that way based on what we’ve discussed this far, however, the reality of the situation is quite different. Surprisingly, studies show that roadside ads are rarely a cause of an accident. And there are good reasons for that – all based on careful designing of both the ads and their placement.

How are roadside designs placed and designed?

This is where this article changes its tone. Roadside advertisement designers are entirely aware of the danger that an overly distracting ad can pose. This is why all the necessary precautions must be made in order to make the ad as neutral as possible. Truth be told – ads are there to fight for your attention in the first place, so, how is this balance achieved?

A simple, yet effective design

Well, the first aspect is based on the fact that roadside ads don’t really look like ones you’d see on your computer or in a shopping center. Most of the ad designs are much more plain – bright, distracting colors are avoided. Additionally, what is presented in the ad is much simpler. Complex designs are avoided, only simple and effective logos and imagery are used. The idea is to grab your attention, see the message in a short timeframe, and be done with the ad. 

Another reason why this is important is for advertisement purposes as well. Since your brain can only process and recognize a small amount of information at a time, the ad must be simple. Ultimately, since the ad is grabbing your attention, one can’t truly say that it’s harmless. The good thing is, people are trying to design them in the least harmless way.

Placement is incredibly important

Here’s the thing – the design of the ad can be made perfectly for the road, but if the placement of the ad is wrong, it’s going to pose more danger. The goal with roadside ad placement is to make the ad as in line with the road as possible. If your eyes are far away from the traffic, it doesn’t matter whether you are looking at a simple or a complicated design. That being said, how are these ads placed and where?

For starters, roadside ads shouldn’t be anywhere near intersections, roundabouts, and the like. As a rule of thumb, if the place requires any decision-making, it should be ad-free. Secondly, a roadside ad should be as in line with the road as the circumstances allow. This requires a lot of planning for height and dimensions.

Road surface adverts are becoming popular for this reason. Since they are literally on the road, drivers’ line of sight will remain unchanged. So far, there has been positive results with such ads.

An image of a man driving and looking to his left.

Ultimately, one can never be 100% certain of roadside advertising safety, especially when discussing such a complicated system as traffic. There are many variables, but as we’ve implied throughout the article, it all boils down to addressing the most impactful ones. Roadside ads are, without a doubt, an important part of marketing efforts for companies. That, coupled with what we’ve talked about when assessing distractions in general, leads to necessary compromises. And that’s exactly what is being done with roadside ads.

They are constantly being worked on in order to be able to fulfill their purpose, but with safety in mind. In conclusion, roadside advertisements can be distracting, but only to the extent of their purpose. If you’re being careful, the probability is high that one Coca-cola ad isn’t going to change anything. Keeping that in mind, be vigilant, always take all the safety precautions, and you’ll be able to create something impactful without creating problems on the road.

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