With some confusion over the meaning of popular road signs, like the “Evel Knievel” sign, featuring a motorbike vaulting over a car, which actually indicates no vehicles are allowed, some drivers may feel they are being unfairly fined for not comprehending road signs. However the distinctive red triangle warning road sign is now part of our British history and their simple but effective designs can save lives.
Road Safety Signs Which Are Considered Design Classics
Some road safety signs are iconic design classics, like the Men at Work sign which has always looked like a man opening an umbrella. Contained within a red triangle, this is a classic warning sign that has been around since the 1950s. Familiar and friendly, the Men at Work sign was created when Britain’s road signs were confusing and dangerous, and car ownership was on the rise. Signs needed to be read in a split second, with effective colouring and reading distances, leading to simple pictograms being used. The umbrella road sign design has not aged, and is still in use today more than 50 years after it was created, which says plenty for its success despite the fact it looks more like an umbrella than a shovel!
Road Safety Signs Prevent Accidents
Construction sites are dangerous places, not only for road users who could run into accidents if they are not properly signposted, but also for the men who are working on our roads and face the onslaught of passing traffic while they are working. As well as wearing hard hats, workers can be further protected by road safety signs which give a clear indication to road users that works are taking place and that they should adjust their driving accordingly. Highly visible from long distances even in poor visibility, road safety signs are a vital part of safety management plans where roadwork’s and construction are taking place.
Fatality Rates for UK Road Workers
Those working on Britain’s roads are subject to one of the highest fatality rates in any employment sector. According to statistics from the Highways Agency, between 2005 and 2010 nine road workers were killed whilst working on motorways in England alone. In 2010 there were four fatal accidents involving road workers and two involving construction workers. While the figures are decreasing, this is still an unacceptable situation and road safety signs can only help to prevent more unnecessary deaths.
The Consequences of Not Paying Attention During Roadworks
The Highways Agency has recently released CCTV footage that shows the shocking consequences of motorists who fail to slow down or pay proper attention when driving through roadworks. The footage shows a car undertaking and pulling out in front of a lorry, which then swerves and overturns, as well as a lorry hitting the back of the car in front, sending it into a set of roadworks just feet away from the staff who are working in the road. Simple steps to reduce accidents at roadworks can be easily taken. Keep within the speed limit, and get into the correct lane in plenty of time. Look at the road ahead, not the roadworks. Be alert for any works traffic entering or exiting and keep a safe distance. Above all, observe the road safety signs, which are there to help you.