Understanding Common Traffic Signs

In order to reduce the risk of personal injury while traveling on America’s roadways, the United States Department of Transportation has created a uniform system of designing and coding various traffic signs that populate highways and backroads across the nation. When drivers violate these signs and cause personal injury, accident victims may have a strong case for recovering compensation for damages. Read on for some basic information on these traffic signs.

Regulatory Traffic Signs

Regulatory traffic signs are indicated by their distinctive red color and white background. In fact, according to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) compiled by the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, the use of red on signs is limited to the stop, yield, and prohibition signs.

Regulatory signs help create safe roadways and reduce the risk of personal injury by setting the boundaries under which vehicles may operate at a given portion of the roadway. For example, a “Do Not Enter” sign clearly sets the limits for which way traffic may flow on that section of road. When drivers disobey a regulatory traffic sign, the risk of accidents and personal injury almost always increase, and a court is likely to construe this driving behavior as negligent.

Warning Signs

General warning signs on American roadways are indicated by the use of bright yellow. Warning signs alert drivers of any upcoming obstructions or changes to road conditions that should be adhered to in order to mitigate the risk of crashes and subsequent personal injury.  

One example of a common warning sign is an advisory speed limit sign. Say for example a road is about to bring drivers through a series of tight turns. An advisory speed limit sign may be present, alerting drivers to reduce their speed to a safer level for the duration of the section of dangerous road. If drivers fail to adhere to this warning sign and they subsequently get in an accident that causes personal injury, they are likely to be deemed liable for the accident victim’s injuries.

Temporary Traffic Control Signs

Sometimes, traffic only needs to be controlled or diverted for a small period of time. Temporary traffic control signs can be spotted by their orange color and black text. Temporary traffic control signs are often found around construction sites, where workers need to alert drivers to conditions such as closed exits and detours, as well as notifying drivers that road work is upcoming and ending.

Mandatory Movements at Lanes and Intersections

In order to keep traffic moving in a predictable manner, signs with white backgrounds and black text and arrows are used to notify drivers how they should behave in a given lane. An example of these kinds of signs is a “Right Turn Only” sign, often presented as a black arrow curving up and to the right with the black text “ONLY” below.

When to Contact an Attorney

When a driver suffers personal injury due to someone else failing to adhere to posted traffic signs, there may be a cause for pursuing litigation to recover compensation for damages incurred.  For years, the attorneys at H&P Law have been helping accident victims in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada as they navigate the litigation process. Contact H&P Law today to discuss your case and take action.

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