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MUTCD Signs You Need for Road Safety

The MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) is a compilation of the national standards for all traffic control devices, including road safety signs. The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices Federal Highway Administration manages the manual and adds updates with new guidelines and standards for safety equipment.

Traffic safety has become an even more critical issue in recent years than in the past. There were nearly 32,000 fatal motor vehicle crashes during the first nine months of 2021, the highest rate over a similar period since 2006. Road safety signs can help promote safe driving and direct traffic to reduce auto accidents and fatalities.

The MUTCD has guidelines detailing the requirements for sign design and installation. In this article, we will look at the MUTCD signs you need for road safety.

Basic Traffic Control Signs

Stop signs and yield signs are two of the most common road safety signs to help regulate traffic.

Stop signs are generally most useful around intersections where they dictate who has the right of way. They give drivers a moment to check for oncoming traffic before turning or crossing the intersection, but failure to do so can lead to a crash. There are nearly 700,000 police-reported accidents in the U.S. at stop signs every year, and stop sign violations account for 70% of all crashes.

Yield signs are similar to stop signs, except drivers aren’t required to stop if there is no oncoming traffic or pedestrians. These are useful for controlling traffic at roundabouts and crosswalks.

Change in Traffic Signs

A “lane added” traffic sign in front of a grassy hill

Sudden lane changes can surprise unaware drivers if they don’t have a warning. Signs that signal upcoming changes in traffic alert drivers and give them enough time to merge.

These warning signs include:

Dangerous and sudden merging is a common factor in motor vehicle accidents. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly 300,000 merging accidents occur every year, and approximately 50,000 of these crashes are fatal. Warning signs are critical for keeping drivers aware of lane changes and merging so they can watch for other vehicles and adjust accordingly.

Regulatory Signs

Regulatory signs make drivers aware of the rules of the road, especially in areas with construction or unusual traffic flow. Intersections are good examples of areas where safety signs can help drivers navigate the road. In 2018, there were over 10,000 traffic fatalities at intersections in the U.S., more than half of which occurred in areas without proper road safety signs.

Intersection Traffic Signs

A no U-turn traffic sign in the afternoon

Proper signage can help drivers become aware of directional traffic in an intersection. Here are some of the signs needed for intersection regulation:

Speed Limit Signs

Speed limit signs are essential for limiting excessive speed and ensuring drivers are aware of changes in local limits. Studies show the chance of crashing is higher for someone driving faster than the other traffic on the road, and the severity of an accident increases with speed. Speed limit signs enforce one maximum speed for everyone.

Do Not Enter Signs

Wrong-way driving crashes occur when a vehicle drives against the regular flow of traffic. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, wrong-way driving crashes are much more likely to result in fatal and serious injuries than other types of highway accidents. Do not enter signs direct drivers and can prevent them from turning into oncoming traffic down a one-way road.

Shop Road Safety Signs with Interwest Safety Supply

A busy crosswalk in a city with moving pedestrians, road safety signs, and lights

Accidents and unintentional injuries, including automobile accidents, are the fourth-highest cause of death in the U.S. Safety equipment and signs are essential to conduct traffic, protect drivers, and reduce the rate of severe accidents.

At Interwest Safety Supply, we provide high-quality road safety signs to the highway construction industry and are committed to providing you with fast and dependable service. To view our inventory of MUTCD-approved safety signs, click here.

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