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How Interstate Signs Raise Awareness

September 25, 2019

Everyone recognizes interstate signs when they see them on the freeway. The blue shield with the route number in white along with the top red banner that says “Interstate” is hard to miss. It’s designed to remind drivers the route they are on and the direction they are headed. Knowing this information at all times is essential, since every mile in the wrong direction requires two miles to correct. Here are ways that interstate signs help drivers know where they are.

Big Interstections

One of the best ways that interstate signs can help drivers traveling across the country is they can be used on broader mileage signs to show how far key junctions are. A driver will be more comfortable about his or her location if they know where they are in relation to key intersections on a map, such as those with other interstate highways. These signs are extremely helpful to drivers who don’t use GPS or other electronic mapping tools.

When driving through a city for the first time, motorists can learn about the area from the exits as references. These exits often include the interstate sign that reminds drivers what highway they are leaving. Through repetition, the frequent use of interstate signs helps make the highway number a top of mind awareness among drivers. Without these signs, it’s possible for drivers to forget which road they’re on and get lost. The names of highway numbers make it easy to communicate with strangers in case you have to ask for directions. Saying “take 101 North” helps simplify and clarify directions.

Travelers use big intersections as markers to learn the streets of unfamiliar cities. They can then find their way back to the highway easily since there are usually many interstate signs with arrows near highways to help direct tourists. Places where interstates intersect have a special need for extra signage to let drivers know which lanes they should be in for a particular interstate direction. These areas often contain malls with diverse shopping opportunities, which attract drivers who may not know how to get back on the highway.

Commercial Exit Signs

Another place where you’ll likely see interstate signs are near exit signs that advertise businesses in the area. Usually there are local restrictions on the type of businesses that can put their logos on these big posts. The businesses typically allowed to advertise near exit signs are tourist attractions, restaurants, gas stations, lodging facilities, campgrounds and pharmacies. Each state has its own roadside advertising policies. There are big contractors that work with transportation agencies to install these large panels and work with sponsors.

Businesses can apply through their state department of transportation to participate in roadside advertising programs if they meet the criteria of a business that appeals to travelers. Other types of businesses have plenty of opportunities to advertise on highways through billboards. The advantage of getting on a sign near an exit is that it can influence drivers to make purchasing decisions.


Much of a city or town’s identity is found in interstate signs. For many travelers who only pass through towns, these signs as well as other highway signs become their main experience of the location. Signs that identify highways or locations are crucial to helping drivers move from town to town. Contact Zumar at our Arizona, Washington or California location to learn more the advantages of road signs.

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