Distracted driving is an all too common problem in Mississippi. Some motorists become distracted by no fault of their own through outside sources; funny road signs are one of them. Now, the Federal Highway Administration has plans to curb this problem.
Dangers of distracted driving
Distracted driving can take on many forms. Using a handheld cell phone, engaging in conversation with passengers, checking on children in the backset, eating and drinking and even daydreaming are some of the most common ways drivers become distracted. Any of these situations can cause a person to lose focus on the road and prevent them from safely operating a vehicle. Even if someone becomes distracted behind the wheel for five seconds, it can result in a car accident and serious injuries to victims involved.
Although drivers can avoid certain distractions, others are not so easily ignored. For that reason, the Federal Highway Administration has issued guidelines regarding signs they are permitted to show on highways and other roadways.
Animated signs posing a danger
Many highways and freeways include signs with humorous but crucial messages to keep people safer. Many of them are warnings about wearing seatbelts or curbing driving under the influence, speeding and other reckless driving practices. Signs that have funny messages such as “Use Yah Blinkah” or “Hands on the Wheel, Not Your Meal,” for example, are believed to cause an uptick in distracted driving.
The agency has ordered all states to remove such road signs by 2026. Recently, it issued guidelines on appropriate replacement signs in a 1,100-page manual. Included in the requirements is that all signs be “simple, direct, brief, legible and clear.” The postings should only warn drivers of road delays, weather conditions and warnings about dangerous driving behaviors.
Distracted driving remains one of the biggest causes of accidents. These guidelines aim to reduce the number of these incidents and keep everyone safer.