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Saving Lives with Do Not Enter Signs

September 11, 2018

Head-on collisions are often caused by drunk drivers, but they can also result from confusion. An effective way to reduce crashes caused by confusion is to post “do not enter” signs where appropriate. These signs are necessary for traffic control and driver safety for the following reasons:

Severity of Wrong Way Driving

About 300 to 400 people are killed each year in the United States due to wrong way driving, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Many of these deaths occur on highways that lack dividers. While these accidents only represent 1% of traffic fatalities, they are among the most severe.

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) found that 90% of wrong way driving accidents are a result of driver error, such as speeding or driving while impaired. About 75% of wrong way crashes occur between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., with one third of these collisions occurring between midnight and 3 a.m.

According to ADOT, two-thirds of wrong way crashes involve impaired drivers. ADOT is testing a thermal camera detection system on I-17 that will monitor drivers to reduce the risks of these crashes. The department has previously installed large “do not enter” signs to help alert drivers of wrong way dangers.

Common Accompanying Messages

“Do not enter” is a stand alone message on many road signs, but it can also be accompanied by the following clarifying messages:

  • Exit Only
  • Restricted Area
  • Stop
  • Danger
  • Wrong Way
  • One Way
  • Private Property

Crowded parking lots and dead end streets commonly use signs that block further driving in a particular direction. Without these signs, drivers might make risky maneuvers to escape bumper to bumper traffic. Directional warning signs can be helpful in areas where opposing traffic is obscured, such as a curved exit from a parking garage.

Playing It Safe

Even though ADOT says that signs and engineering cannot eliminate all accidents, posting “do not enter” signs can reduce accident risk. These signs can not only save lives at night, but they also provide more clarity for drivers in the daytime, especially in parking lots and on one-way streets.

A recent study by researchers from the University of Michigan and Brigham Young University shows that dynamic signs with images that depict action communicate danger to drivers more quickly. However, “do not enter” is one of the clearest messages a driver can read, and any warning sign is better than no sign at all where danger may be present.

Your school, apartment complex, or homeowners association should invest in “do not enter” signs to make your property as safe as possible. For more information about various road signs, contact Zumar, a family business committed to making roads safer, at their Arizona, California or Washington locations.

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