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Exploring the Wide Range of Driving Signs

June 11, 2020

Diving into the world of driving signs can be a challenging endeavor if your goal is to learn all the different possibilities. One way to narrow down the scope to actionable knowledge for investing in signs is to study the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). This manual sets the standards for various types of road signs and traffic control equipment.

Federal, State and Local Compliance

Certain signs, such as regulatory and caution signs, must follow specific federal standards. The variables include sign size, color, shape and retroreflectivity. The standardization of signs creates uniformity across the nation, so that traveling from state to state is relatively consistent for motorists. Each state and local jurisdiction has additional guidelines about the design and placement of driving signs on public streets and highways.

Best Driving Signs for Enforcing Laws

Even though traditional speed limit signs are effective at reminding drivers of the speed they are expected to not exceed, a more reliable solution is electronic signage that monitors driving speeds with radar equipment. TraffiCalm is a pioneer in modern driver feedback signs that integrate with radar, solar and internet technology.

LED lights have been widely adopted as part of electronic signs because of their brightness and durability. Blinking lights, also known as beacons, have proven to help alert drivers about possible dangers ahead, especially around sharp curves. The combination of driver feedback signs, beacons and fine warnings alongside traditional speed limit signs is perhaps the most effective solution for traffic calming in a specific location.

Guiding Drivers to Destinations and Safety

Driving signs are appreciated by motorists as part of the continuous communication on the road that identifies locations and information about destinations. Mileage markers and signs are expected by freeway drivers for gauging how often they need to refuel. Drivers also expect to see caution signs mixed with safety tips. Sometimes detour signs are needed to redirect traffic due to accidents, congestion or big events.

Electronic signs have the most impact on capturing the attention of drivers. A key advantage to a programmable electronic sign is that detours or upcoming road closures can be updated to inform drivers.

Most Effective Driving Signs for Promotional Use

Restaurants and shopping malls commonly promote their locations with large signs near freeway exits. Many times a series of signs is necessary to get drivers to decide to exit the freeway and visit a local establishment.

The reason why driver signs on freeways are an effective way to attract new business is because so many people use them for commutes or tourism. Local commuters gain brand familiarity by always passing a certain sign, which becomes a subconscious landmark. Tourists exploring new cities often make destination decisions based on what they see from signage.

Effective promotional signs for businesses are those that are placed in visible locations and communicate easy-to-digest messages with captivating imagery. Usually a logo and positioning statement with corresponding imagery are the key ingredients to designing a successful business sign that attracts drivers. If the brand is already widely familiar, like that of a restaurant chain, the logo alone can be powerful.


The placement of signs to get the attention of drivers is practiced by governments, businesses and other organizations that connect directly with the public. Contact Zumar at our Arizona, California or Washington location to learn more about driving signs and other types of traffic control devices.

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