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Benefits of One Way Signs

July 24, 2019

One way signs with arrows provide the most definitive way to convey traffic direction to drivers. These signs commonly use black backgrounds with white lettering, standing out well in the dark and at a distance. Accidents can be significantly reduced with these signs where there is no traffic control, such as in rural areas.

Why One Way Streets Exist

Every city has its share of one way streets, which are carryovers from last century’s city planning. Recent studies, however, show that local economies would do better with more two way traffic, at least for certain industries. For example, entertainment, food and professional services jobs experience more growth with two way traffic.

Yet one way streets still serve a purpose in which the location adds power to the establishment. Businesses that require special routes stand out and cause visitors to put more thought and care into planning. One way streets have the power to move people to specific shopping areas.

Each city has used planning designed to impact the local economy one way or another. Last century following World War II, one way streets were intentionally designed for leading travelers through the Downtown area. This century, city planners are taking into account how smartphones are refedining where establishments choose locations, in which two way streets provide easier directions.

Wrong Way Driving Statistics

In the United States, wrong way driving (WWD) results in about 300-400 deaths per year. This amount accounts for about one percent of traffic deaths per year. These accidents tend to be among the most severe because they often involve head-on collisions. Many times wrong way driving involves alcohol, as drunk drivers often lose sense of proper judgement.

Once again, one way signs can at least alert impaired drivers they are going the wrong way. These one way signs must use reflective material so that they are easily seen at night. Part of what makes these signs so powerful is that they serve as a reminder of possible danger.

Over the past decade, several cities have modified one way streets to faciliate two way traffic. This trend appears to be increasing as city planners learn more about the economic advantages of two way traffic. At the same time, studies show less accidents occur on one way streets, perhaps because the signs reduce risks of wrong way driving. A driver is more likely to take risks when signs are not present.


Everyone knows they need to watch for opposing traffic, especially on streets that do not clarify driving direction. A one way sign helps reduce stress and define driving direction, especially in an enclosed area such as a parking lot. Contact Zumar at our Arizona, California or Washington location to learn more about how signs create safer driving conditions.

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