Pedestrian Crossing Signs are critical for both Pedestrian and Motorist Safety

Pedestrians can be injured in public crosswalks and temporary crosswalk situations during construction. This is especially true if the recommended safety zone is not clearly marked or visible. In turn, a motorist may be placed in a compromised situation if pedestrian crossing signage is not properly installed.

Paint is often used to identify the recommended walking traffic pattern. However, painted crosswalk lines will fade over time and can sometime be difficult to see in twilight hours and bad weather conditions.

Pedestrians and motorists are better protected with in-street pedestrian crossing signs. The pedestrian can readily see the restricted safe access within the traffic pattern. And, the motorist is made aware of the marked pedestrian crossing.

The Federal Highway Administration states in their Countermeasures that Reduce Crash Severity

The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) provides guidance related to the design and installation specifications of roadside hardware and safety hardware. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Safety reviews crash-tested hardware to determine if it is eligible for Federal Funding.

While the pedestrian crossing signs are designed to protect the individual walking, it must also be designed to not be a hazard to a vehicle. These devices are tested in crash scenarios to evaluate their safety in real life traffic situations.

MUTCD Compliance and NCHRP350 Approved

Pedestrian Crossing Sign System must be designed to withstand impact. The following specifications are important.

  • Double-sided, rugged polyethylene panels that can withstand the elements for years
  • Reactive spring assembly that enables the sign to bounce back upon impact
  • Anti-twist feature that prevents sign from turning if hit
  • High-quality, fluorescent 3M Diamond Grade Reflective Sheeting
  • NCHRP350 approved
  • MUTCD compliant

Fixed or Portable Sign Base Options

The pedestrian crossing sign has different design alternatives. Available options are portable and fixed base to meet the specific needs of the public situation. The portable base provides convenient transportability. Whereas, the fixed base should be easy to install on the street.

Replacement Sign Panels and Parts

Over time, pedestrian crossing signs can wear or become damaged. These signs should have interchangeable parts to replace damaged or worn parts. If the wording becomes worn, it should be no problem to just purchase replacement panels. The same should be true of a damaged fixed base. You should be able to simply release the sign and insert it into a new fixed base.

Pedestrian’s must be protected when coming into close proximity of vehicular traffic patterns. And, the motorist must be protected from inconsequential damage to their vehicle from poorly designed pedestrian signage.

If you need to identify safe pedestrian crossings, whether in a construction zone or a permanent traffic pattern, save money on replacement costs with the Traffic Safety Direct quick pedestrian crossing signs. We provide fixed and portable in-street pedestrian crossing signs, bases, replacement panels, and hardware that meet MUTCD requirements and are NCHRP350 approved.

Hands Free Devices May Not Be Enough To Avoid Distracted Driving

Common sense must prevail over our knee-jerk reaction to respond to a text, email or phone call from work.

We are in an era where we seem to be constantly connected to our work through our phone and other mobile devices. Companies may even pay for all or part of the expense of our communications services. In turn, when a call or message comes into us, we feel some obligation to answer it, anywhere and everywhere. This can be a horrible decision.

Driving a car is a great example of when not to lose focus. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), in 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

Communications technology has tried to respond  to distracted driving by offering “hands free” options. As the American Association of Justice states in their article The landscape of distracted driving

Many new vehicles are equipped with voice-activated systems that allow ­drivers to select music, adjust climate controls, use GPS and navigation systems, make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages, and interact with social media—all while driving.

Ironically, we have two hands, but, only one brain. So, what is being freed is not the main problem.

Many of us believe we are great at multi-tasking. Papers have been written, however, that demonstrate we are not as agile as we may think we are. It takes time for our brains to switch our focus from one area of interest to another. While switching back and forth, we are in a mental limbo. The time lost switching our focus accumulates – creating a total amount of lost time that makes a tremendous difference.

The distraction of having a phone conversation, even if on a hands-free device, causes drivers to miss the important visual and audio inputs that would ordinarily help avoid an accident. Driving is too critical of a time to risk losing focus.

We should also be aware of the men and women rebuilding our roads and bridges. These workers are perilously close to the road. A split second can make all the difference between a catastrophe and that worker later going safely home to the family. Our previous post about the St Patrick Day celebrations states that “Distracted driving can be common as the fun progresses. However, the road construction workers will still be finishing their work before they too can join in the fun.”

Hands-free does not free our brains from trying to do two things at the same time. Consider the fact that we may not be the multi-tasker we think we are.  Even the newest technology does not protect us from a potentially disastrous result. And that disastrous result may effect not just us, but also, the other people on and around the road we are on.

If you are looking to improve the traffic safety around your home or business, contact us at Traffic Safety Direct.




ST Patrick’s Day is a Time For Celebration and Traffic Awareness

St Patrick’s Day is Friday, March 17, 2017. That will bring two factors together that causes a higher level of concern for traffic related injuries. The two factors are road construction together with a day of celebration.

Chicago on St Patricks DayThe reason why it is important to be especially aware a celebration such as St Patrick’s Day is being held on a Friday is because St Patrick’s Day is not holiday. This is a regular work day for many, such as construction workers. These men and women will be working on our roads and bridges as the celebrations begin.

The United States road construction projects are growing regularly throughout the nation. In Statistics and Facts about U.S. Highway Construction by Statista

Highway and road construction put in place in the United States is projected to grow to over 99.4 billion U.S. dollars by 2020. Highway and bridge construction is expected to vary across the United States, growing in about 20 states but remaining in stable in others. Some states have increased investment into transportation construction in recent years; since 2013, 15 states that have raised gas taxes for increased investments.

St Patrick’s Day is a time for people to celebrate. Unfortunately this brings a degree of danger to fellow citizens, none of which are more vulnerable than construction workers building and repairing our transportation infrastructure.

BACTrack states in their post The Most Dangerous Times on the Road

Many of the deadliest days occur when people celebrate special occasions and events, such as Cinco de Mayo or the Super Bowl. For example, a NHTSA study found that alcohol-related crashes claimed a life every 51 minutes on St. Patrick’s Day in 2010, accounting for 32% of all fatalities that occurred that day.

The individuals traveling in a vehicle as the celebration of St Patrick’s Day begin should be on high alert to their surroundings. Distracted driving can be common as the fun progresses. However, the road construction workers will still be finishing their work before they too can join in the fun. Everyone can enjoy this great day.

Please be safe and enjoy the celebration. Happy St Patrick’s Day from the team at Traffic Safety Direct!