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Making Curves Safer with Sequential Chevrons

January 20, 2020

Many people think of “Chevron” as the oil and gas company, but in the traffic control world, it refers to a sign displaying the earlier meaning of a V-shaped or inverted V-shaped stripe. That image has been the oil giant’s logo since 2006. The term has multiple other meanings as well. Here are essential reasons why MUTCD compliant chevrons are used on roads and highways.

Alerting Drivers on Upcoming Curves

The primary use of chevrons alongside roadways is to guide traffic toward the direction of a curve. Sudden sharp curves can be dangerous if a driver doesn’t slow down enough, so these yellow signs with black arrows help inform traffic to proceed with caution. The curved or bent arrows used for Curve Warning systems are also called chevrons. For long curves, it’s common to see a series of sequential chevrons.

Curves can be problematic for several reasons, most of which involve obstructed view of the road ahead. Fatal crashes have occurred on winding forest roads and mountainside highways and some of the worst crashes have been over guard rails on high elevation S-shaped roads. But the majority of curve accidents have taken place on city and rural roads. These crashes can result from various issues such as drunk driving, changing lanes or speeding around a curve too fast.

Electronic Chevrons

Modern chevrons are connected to a wireless network as the sequential chevrons with LED lights flash and point in the direction of traffic. Lights flash on the outer edges of the sign. Another modern aspect for certain models is that they are powered by solar energy with controls in a single weather resistant box. TraffiCalm delivers this solar/WiFi solution and AC versions as well.

TraffiCalm’s curve warning systems are designed to be easy-to-use, as they do not require knowledge of electronics. Radar Vehicle Detectors are options to monitor traffic behavior. Light sequencing is programmed for either uni-directional or bi-directional scenarios, depending on the model. A bi-directional sign uses imagery that looks like two chevrons pointing at each other.

Electronic chevrons integrate with a larger TraffiCalm system called SignAlert. Any type of infrastructure can shift to this new system with ease, since the components can be mounted on existing signs. The LED flasher is designed to be indestructible so that it can outlast bad weather, collisions or vandalism. The ultra efficient lights have a life span of 100,000 hours. But even if one LED flasher ring fails, the rest will still flash continuously.

As city infrastructure evolves with smart technology, TraffiCalm is on the leading edge of these developments with durable, reliable solutions. The Idaho-based company provides modern traffic control solutions for several other states including California, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Colorado, North Carolina and Maine.


Making streets more safe should be a top priority of every local jurisdiction. Contact Zumar at our Arizona, California or Washington location to learn more about sequential chevrons to help make curvy roads safer.

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