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Do Highway Traffic Signs Help Reduce Accidents

November 06, 2018

Do Highway Traffic Signs Help Reduce Accidents

Accidents are one of the most dreadful things that tend to disrupt our lives. It throws things into such disarray; none of us even want to wish it upon our enemies. No one willingly wants to be a part of an accident; neither the person at fault nor the people who are injured.

Though mechanical fault of cars can sometimes cause these mishaps, human misjudgment and being distracted while driving is probably the biggest cause of accidents. Between 10-25% of accidents that happen on the road are caused due to distraction. The road traffic mortality rate in the United States was between 10-20 per 100,000 people in 2013 according to WHO.

Today there are is a lot more signs that could potentially distract you while driving. These range form of private signs, bigger commercial hoardings and non-red signs. A study that was done as early as 1970’s in the city of Austin had found accidents at intersections were caused due to distractions, like the ones mentioned above. Therefore, it suggested legislation to be enforced to reduce highway signs that caused distractions.

Over the years the number of things vying for our attention has increased. With cellphones, on board entertainment systems and digital billboards, it’s very easy to get distracted while driving.

Here are some facts about accidents as reported according to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

  • On an average there are close to 1600 casualties caused by two vehicle accidents every year
  • More than 50% of the accidents at intersections are caused by drivers that run red lights
  • 29% of accidents are caused due to failing to yield right of the way at signals and older drivers are the majority of offenders in this category 
  • Older drivers especially 65 and over were involved in higher number of crashes

Apart from these every day, 9 people die in accidents resulting from distracted driving and 1000’s are injured in the United States.

Traffic signage help drivers remain aware of what’s coming up and what’s important on the road ahead. It’s one of the oldest ways of enforcing safety for both drivers and pedestrians on the road. Let’s look at how Road Traffic signs make roads safe for us. 

Road Traffic Signage:

To keep drivers and pedestrians safe on the road, road signage was introduced many years ago. They help ensure smooth flow of traffic, reduce congestion on the road and keep the driver informed of what he/she could expect on the road.

An informed driver is less likely to feel anxious even when they are in an unknown neighborhood. They are also lower chances for informed drivers taking a sudden turn or drive into a one-way lane creating a bottleneck or causing an accident.

Road Signs are essential to avoiding traffic mishaps as they:

  • Clearly mention entry and exit points thus avoiding confusion on highways as well as one-way roads
  • Mention about designated parking areas, dates, times and no-parking zones
  • Inform about special lanes and help segregate the traffic
  • Educate drivers about speed restrictions on specific segments of the road and overtaking rules
  • Road signs also let drivers know of special road conditions like hairpin bends and curvature
  • They help reduce certain types of crashes, especially right-angle collisions. 

Here are a few interesting facts that you might not know about road signs in the United States:

  1. You can tell what side your exits will be on, from the Road Sign:               If the numbers on the road sign are aligned to the left the exits are going to be on the left of the highway. And if the numbers are to the right, the exits would be on the right.  
  2. Interstate Numbering System: Did you know the even numbered one or two digits interstate are east-west routes and the numbers increase as you move from south to north? While the odd numbered ones are north-south routes and increase from west to east. Knowing that will surely make life easy even without google maps.
  3. STOP the expenses: A stop sign is octagonal because it was a cheap shape to make, and it was also different from other square shaped signs.

If you are looking for customizable signage that are durable, contact Brandon Industries today at 972-542-3000