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Reasons for Truck Traffic Sign Variations

August 1, 2018

Freeways in America are designed to support a wide range of vehicles, ranging from motorcycles to cars to big rigs. Most drivers understand that separate signs are posted for large transport vehicles, such as 18 wheelers. City streets often post special signs for trucks to prevent accidents and keep large vehicles from slowing down normal traffic flow. Here are some of the variations of the truck traffic sign to consider for your traffic safety needs:

Why Big Trucks Need Special Signs

There are major differences between small to medium trucks vs. large delivery trucks. A typical truck traffic sign is usually directed at commercial trucks, not smaller pickups. The fact that big commercial trucks take much wider turns requires that such vehicles avoid narrower residential streets. Signs help keep commercial truck drivers from making wrong turns that could tie up traffic or cause collisions with smaller vehicles.

The number of U.S. fatalities from large trucking accidents in 2016 was 4,213, an increase of 3% from the previous year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Other damage due to truck accidents includes cargo spillage and open flames that can cause hazards to spread. Increased safety regulations may reduce the number of trucking fatalities, and a truck traffic sign serves as a reminder of the safety regulations that protect all drivers.

Common Truck Signs

There are many variations of truck signs, including:

  • Heavy Truck Traffic
  • Truck Route
  • Truck Crossing
  • Trucks Entering Highway
  • Truck Turnaround Ahead
  • Slow Trucks
  • Use Low Gear
  • Trucks Use Right Lane
  • Truck Lane 500 Feet
  • No Delivery Trucks Beyond This Point
  • Bypass Road Ahead
  • Engine Breaking Prohibited

Some of these signs feature images that depict driving action, such as a red cross over the image of a box truck. Many of these signs are yellow or orange and diamond-shaped. Slow inbound and outbound signs help direct truck traffic near warehouse and other loading and unloading areas.

Established and Alternate Truck Routes

Professional truck drivers are required to follow specific truck routes that are determined by federal, state, and local officials. Local authorities are allowed to alter these established truck routes with alternative access routes consistent with state and federal regulations. When a local government alters a familiar truck route, it helps to post a truck traffic sign that informs drivers of the change.

A bypass is a road that splits away from a freeway to divert traffic away from small towns or development areas, which helps reduce congestion and creates safer conditions for local communities. Many bypasses are specifically intended to be truck routes.

Size and Weight Signs

One of the primary reasons for truck signs is to keep heavy trucks off roads that are not designed to support the weight of multiple large vehicles. Without regulatory signs, heavy trucks can tear up city streets faster, which puts pressure on local governments’ road maintenance budgets. Truck drivers need to know when they are approaching areas that prohibit specific vehicle weights.

Freeways feature truck scales where big rigs are required to stop for weighing. Scale signs remind trucking companies not to transport loads that exceed regulations. Maximum size and weight signs also help enforce these limitations.

Small and large vehicles share many of the same roads. In order to keep drivers of vehicles of all sizes safe, a truck traffic sign helps clarify what trucks can and can’t do. For more information about truck traffic signs, as well as customized signage, contact Zumar at our California, Arizona or Washington locations.

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