You may be walking along, not paying attention to what is around you, but it’s important to stay safe. There are many traffic signs of whose meaning pedestrians don’t actually know. Siegfried & Jensen offers a breakdown of some common signs and their meanings. It’s always a good idea to refresh your memory, even if you aren’t studying for a driver’s exam. This will help make safe decisions while sharing the road.
Each year, unfortunately, pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities comprise about 16% of all traffic fatalities with approximately 5,000 pedestrian deaths and 800 bicyclist deaths. Another 65,000 pedestrians and 48,000 bicyclists are injured in roadway crashes annually.
A Resident’s Guide for Creating Safer a Communities for Walking and Biking includes information, ideas, and resources to help residents learn about issues that affect walking and biking conditions, find ways to address or prevent these problems, and promote pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
Deer Crossing Signs
There are more than 1.5 million car crashes in the United States that involve deer or large animals; especially from October through December (known as Deer Season), there are even more deer-caused car accidents. Therefore, you need to be very careful when driving near deer or animal crossing signs. The deer crossing sign alerts drivers to areas where the population of deer is large and may make their way into the roadway. This can be very dangerous because an average white-tailed deer weighs around 100 pounds and is about three or four feet tall. Seeing a deer like this on the road is a very serious situation, and as a warning, deer crossing signs are there to help drivers pass safely through these areas where the deer are common.
Emergency Vehicle Warning Signs
While this is possibly the least seen warning sign out of all the traffic signs, the emergency vehicle warning sign is actually one of the most important. Emergency vehicle warning signs alert drivers that they are entering an area containing fire departments, ambulance stations, and other emergency-related areas. This sign lets you know that emergency vehicles could be entering the roadway with limited warning. As well, the sign tells drivers to refrain from pulling over in these spots to keep the roadway clear for emergency vehicles to pull in and out.
Keep Right Sign
When a road narrows, due to dividers or any other obstruction, drivers need to be made aware of the change in the width of the street. The “Keep Right” and “Keep Left” signs are that warning. These regulatory traffic signs aid in keeping vehicles moving when these hindrances are present.
Men at Work Signs
This is a temporary warning sign used to alert drivers of upcoming road work. Orange is used on this sign because it is a vibrant and visible color which is easily noticed by drivers. When driving through work zones, safety is of the utmost importance. Men at work signs are often accompanied by other temporary warning signs, like “Road Work Ahead” signs and detour signs. As well, you need to be aware that there may be workers on the road near where the signs are located.
No Bicycle Signs
Bicycle riders are supposed to follow the same traffic rules as automobiles, and that includes following sign safety. “No Bicycle” signs prohibit bicycle traffic from entering a roadway or facility. If they are being used at a facility, the signs are typically posted at the entrances. Other bicycle-related traffic signs include “No Parking Bike Lane” signs and bicycle warning signs.
No U-Turn Signs
Everyone has seen this sign, but as a refresher, you need to realize there are a few variations of the “No U-turn” sign. With the curved arrow showing a U-turn and bold prohibition symbol over it, this standard design is understood to show areas where drivers are not allowed to change the direction of their vehicle into the opposite way of traffic.
Pedestrian Crossing Signs
Pedestrian crossing signs posted near crosswalks and intersections are extremely important when walking near traffic areas. It is used in a majority of settings, such as school zones. The sign uses a yellow-green fluorescent reflective sheeting that enhances its visibility from drivers on the roads.
Speed Limit Signs
Speed limit signs are essentially for traffic control; however, they vary in the limit number depending on what kind of road you are driving through. For instance, the speed limit in residential streets is 25 mph while the speed limit on a highway might be 65 mph. Speed limit signs are often not posted in residential areas because the speed limit for most residential areas is 25 miles per hour, and this law is understood by drivers.
Stop signs are the most recognized of all traffic signs. Both the shape and color are important to recognize. The shape of a Stop sign is an octagon, bright red in color. No other sign has this shape or color. This is because a Stop sign is vital for traffic safety. Stop signs give drivers alerts to intersections and other places where traffic is traveling in opposite or crossing directions.
Yield signs are similar to Stop signs but used in less hazardous spots. They often used at passive cross streets or traffic circles. Yield signs are meant to keep traffic flowing, while still allowing drivers from different directions to pass through. The yield sign symbol is very often used with the pedestrian crossing signs where it is the state law to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. They can also be found on in-street crossing signs.
Siegfried & Jensen states that knowing these popular traffic signs and their meanings is an important part of being a safe driver, bicyclist, and pedestrian. For more information about official traffic signs visit the Federal Highway Administration. You can find out about more information on what you should do if you are involved in an accident by reaching out to Siegfried & Jensen at (801) 598-1218.