Top 20 Most Ignored Road Signs & Their Accidents
Stop signs, speed limit signs, turn signals, one-way signs, and more litter
the roads and highways for America. The signs are everywhere, and they have a
purpose. These traffic signs are there to keep people safe. Unfortunately not
everyone obeys these signs, which can lead to many problems on the road. Car
crashes, traffic jams, and traffic tickets can generally be avoided if everyone
just followed the signs. But these are the least of the worries. Sometimes not
obeying the traffic laws results in death. Here are the top 20 most ignored road
20) It's a Great Place to Turn Around
A dead end street may be a bad thing to
some, and a turn-around spot to others. The issue with failing to obey the "dead
end" street signs is a motorist will generally end up where they should not and
can even get stuck. Sometimes the road simply ends. Sometimes the road is
blocked. Sometimes you donít know what's ahead that may be dangerous to you. The
dictionary defines these streets as having only one way in and one way out.
While TrafficLaw.com does not have a ticket listed for failure to obey this
sign, it can be a bad predicament to get into that can cause damage to your car
and put your own safety at risk.
Dead End Signs Could Literally Mean Dead End to You!
19) Is That A Blinker Or Are You Happy To See Me?
Blinkers, turn signals, or
direction signalers on cars are not posted signs. They are signals, though, and
they either donít get used or are completely ignored. According to the DMV
handbook, you must make a turn signal any time you wish to turn or change lanes.
Failure to do so can result in a ticket and an increase in your insurance. But
failure to use a turn signal is much more serious than a ticket; itís also very
dangerous. According to a study done by the Society of Automotive Engineers,
failing to use a turn signal results in two times the number of accidents caused
by distracted driving. That same study found that drivers donít use turn signals
half the time they should. If you fail to use a turn signal and cause a wreck,
you will be held liable and it can be listed as a reckless driving offense.
18) Long Whistle Blowing
Sometimes a railroad crossing comes with lights, sounds,
and even cameras. There will be blockades and a bid "t-do" to let you know a
train could be on the tracks ahead of you. Other times, though, the railroad
crossing sign is the only thing you'll see. The KingCounty.org site says these
should still be obeyed like the lights and blockades, though, because they mean
you are to look for an oncoming train. The DMV handbook says if you approach a
train track, no matter if it is a posted sign or one with lights, you should
stop and look both ways down the track like you would at an intersection. This
could save your life. According to USA Today, the number of fatalities by trains
has dropped over the years, but it still happens. The article posted said the
number of deaths involving trains and motor vehicles has dropped 42% in the last
ten years, leaving an average of 248 fatalities a year. The Federal Railroad
Administration said that the number one cause of death in the railroad industry
is pedestrians and motorists. Roughly 430 pedestrians are killed each year by
17) Again With the Road Work
Construction signs are out for the protection of
people working on roads or other construction along the road. Many states take
construction zones seriously and post signs that say tickets given for offenses
come with double or even triple the penalty. So, if you get a speeding ticket
that would normally be $200 while youíre in a construction area you could look
at paying $400 or even $600 instead. These fines can be as
much as $1,000 in certain states. The Governor's Highway Safety Association says
33 states and the District of Columbia double the fine for traffic violations in
a work zone. Only 24 states and the District of Columbia require workers to be
present for the increased penalties to be enforced. Only 10 states do not
mandate that signs be posted to alert drivers of the enhanced penalties.
Construction Workers Mourn the Death of Their Fellow
Coworkers In DUI Crash:
16) I Don't Need No Education
Just like construction zone signs, school zone
signs are often ignored, too. These signs generally tell motorists there is a
decreased speed while in the zone, to watch for children and pedestrians, and to
yield to buses and other school traffic. When these do not get obeyed it can be
fatal. According to DMV.org, the fines for speeding in a school zone run much
like the fines for speeding in construction sites. Most states double, and some
triple, the fines.
By Bidgee (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5-au],
via Wikimedia Commons
It can also be considered reckless driving. A study done by
Sake Kids Worldwide in 2009 found that one in six drivers in school zones were
distracted and/or speeding. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle going a speed of 40
miles-per-hour is almost always fatal, according to Preventinjury.org, and for a
child that speed could be as low as 30 miles-per-hour. According to Oklahoma
state newspaper, NewsOK, in the state of Oklahoma motorist who fail to stop for
buses while the red lights are flashing and the stop signs are out could lose
their driver's license.
NOTE: Obviously, the showing of
school kids getting ran over would be inappropriate!
15) You Have To Be This Tall To Ride
Some signs for "low entrances" are ignored
to hilarious ends. Sometimes the end result is fatal. If a sign says a vehicle
cannot be taller than a certain amount of feet or inches to enter an area, itís
best to obey that. The New Jersey Times reported that man was charged with
careless driving and obstruction of traffic when he got his 28-foot box truck
stuck in a tunnel that that clearly had signs posted stating his truck was too
large to fit. The truck had to be cut out of the tunnel.
This not only results
in tickets for the driver, but tax payer's money being spent to repair the
tunnel and pay officers extra money to direct traffic. According to The
Telegraph, on top of paying a $2,200 penalty truckers could also lose their
registration if they become stuck in a tunnel. And trucks or private vehicles
that donít obey these signs are not exempt. Those motorists will also face steep
tickets and can even be sued for damage to city infrastructure.
Look what happens when vehicles ignore these Low Clearance
14) This Is Unusual
Cars, trucks, and vansÖ oh my! But they aren't the only
things that go by on roads. In several areas you may notice a bicycle emblem on
a sign. This is to let you know that cyclist hare the road. In other areas you
may notice signs for deer. This is to let you know that wildlife is in the area.
If youíre in Pennsylvania you may see an increase of horse and buggy pictures,
and that's to let you know the Amish share the road with you in horse and buggy
style. Not yielding to these "unusual" motorists can have serious effects, some
resulting in death.
Daniel Schwen [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5],
via Wikimedia Commons
In August of 2012, the KTVO in Canton, Mo. reported that a
42-year-old Amish man, and his horse, were both killed when the driver of a
pickup truck failed to yield to the horse. In March 2013 in Cincinnati, a
motorcyclist did not heed deer crossing warnings and the WRAL Cincinnati news
reported he died after hitting a deer. Bicycling info says that more than 600
cyclists were killed in accidents involving motor vehicles. There are posted
signs all around alerting drivers to the increase of cyclists and motorcyclists
in the area. Slowing down and keeping an eye out for them can save lives. The
motorists aren't the only ones expected to obey these laws, though. Cyclists,
motorcyclists, and horse and buggy drivers have their own set of rules they need
to follow to safe, as well.
Pay Attention to Horse and Buggy Signs!
Deer Related Accident:
Why Is Everyone Moving To That Lane?
Signs mean to move to the other lane because the lane your on will end. This means if youíre in the right hand
lane and that lane is closed in a few miles, you need to merge to the left hand
lane when you can. This does not mean wait until the last minute and force your
way over. This holds up traffic and can cause wrecks. Another merge sign is
generally used for construction areas. This means one lane is temporarily
closed, but may open back up some time on down the road and you must merge now
to save trouble. According to the DMV handbook, merging into traffic is not only
a duty of the driver trying to merge, but also those already in the proper lane.
Those already established "should help" the person trying to merge.
12) HeyÖ There's Supposed to Be a Bridge Here
It's a classic scene in many
movies. The driver isnít paying attention, or they're running from someone or
something, going maximum speeds on a bridge and then Ö the bridge is gone.
Sadly, that doesn't just happen in movies, though. There are times when a bridge
may be flooded or iced over and a temporary sign needs to be put out, but
motorists donít pay attention to the signs. The August Chronicle in Augusta,
Ga., reported that a bridge in the town was so dangerous it could cause
motorists to hydroplane and lose control of their vehicles.
The bridge was
closed for repair but people trying to use caused traffic accidents. According
to Transportation California, 62 percent of residents in the state think the
government should send more money on fixing roads and bridges in the state. The
issue with that, as reported by many places undergoing bridge work, is that
traffic becomes a nightmare to detour. Following the bridge out and detour signs
ahead of time can help ease the burden of added traffic. Detour signs are often
made available ahead of time, as well as detour maps online and in the local
newspapers, for people to plan routes accordingly so they can avoid heavy
traffic areas during times a bridge will be out.
11) You Can't Go That Way
It's pretty simple, really. A "one-way" sign with an
arrow pointing in the direction in which you are allowed to go means youíre only
allowed to go that is way. So, (according to the federal highway public records)
the fact that more than 350 people are killed each year for either disobeying
this law, or encountering another motorist who is, can be shocking. Yes, you can
get a fine for this. TrafficLaw.com says in most states it's by discretion of
the officer, but will generally not exceed $500.
Or this will happen!
By Damnsoft 09
via Wikimedia Commons
10) Hold Your
yield sign isn't a suggestion. It's a sign that must be obeyed for the safety of
all persons on the road. The yield sign means you slow down or completely stop
for the person or vehicle that has the right-of-way. You donít try to outrun
them or force your way ahead. They have the right-of-way, meaning they go first
and if you don't allow them to do so you can get a ticket. This ticket can be as
much as $500. According to a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway
Safety, many drivers (especially those 80 years old and older) fail to see the
other vehicle they should be yielding to. That same study showed that younger
drivers misjudge whether they have time to proceed ahead of the other vehicle.
This results in failure to yield being one of the 10 deadliest mistakes a driver
9) Hey! I'm Walking Here!
Cross-walk signs donít just protect pedestrians from
cars, but also motorists from going to jail for striking a pedestrian. Many
people still ignore crosswalk signs, though, and that may be because they don't
understand what the signs mean. According to KingCounty.gov, these cross-walk
signs warn drivers that there is a crosswalk ahead and to watch for pedestrians
that may be crossing. This also means that the pedestrian has the right-of-way,
so the driver must yield to the pedestrian. Another version of the crosswalk
sign is the crosswalk symbol. This helps pedestrians know when to cross the
street. Crossing the street without the go-ahead from this mechanical sign can
result in a "jay-walking" ticket for the pedestrian, at best, and at worse the
pedestrian could be struck by a vehicle. According to Legal Dictionary.com, if a
pedestrian jay-walks and is hit by a car, the jay-walking offense could cancel
out any means of a lawsuit the pedestrian had against the motorist because
jay-walking can be "contributory negligence."
8) Sorry, This Spot Is Reserved
Handicapped parking is a sign that is too often
ignored. Handicapped spots are reserved for people with disabilities that post a
"handicap driver" sticker in the windshield of their car, or have a license
plate that specifies the driver is impaired. When people without handicap
stickers take these spots, it leaves people with the sticker scrambling to find
a spot farther away from the store or business they are trying to visit.
According to Texas state law, even if you do have a legitimate handicap tag, you
must display it at all times. Failure to do so can result in a ticket, and they
come with a fine of up to $500. The issue of parking in these spaces is becoming
so out of hand that Handicappedfraud.org has created an iPhone app to help
report people violating the law.
7) Don't Trash This Place
In the 1980s a huge campaign was started to end litter
in the nation. It didnít work. In fact, litter is just as bad as it was then,
but the penalties are much steeper. While "donít litter" signs are everywhere,
they are especially prevalent in highways, where the most litter is found.
According to Keep America Beautiful, more people throw litter and trash out on
the side of the road from a moving vehicle than they throw it on the ground. The
reason behind this, the organization says, is because they do not have a readily
available trash can.
The Department of Transportation in Pennsylvania said if a
motorist is caught littering from a vehicle while in the state, they can be
fined up to $300. This can even include a simple gum wrapper being dropped on
the side of the road. According to No More Trash online, 33 percent of the
litter found on the road is from fast food wrappers. The main offenders are
between 16-24 years of age and drive more than 2 hours a day.
6) Stop! In The Name of the Law
You would think that stop signs wouldn't be
ignored. They are clearly there for safety, but people get tickets at an
alarming rate for failing to stop at a clearly posted stop sign. Since 2007,
more than 70,000 motorists in Los Angeles have been ticketed via a stop sign
camera that took a picture of the license plates of people who did not fully
stop when leaving a mountain recreation area, read an article in the LA Times.
According to TrafficLaw.com, most of these tickets issued cannot be more than
$500, and some states allow the ticketing officer to decide what the penalty
should be based on the nature of the offense. In almost all states this offense
does go on your driving record and can affect your insurance rates. These fines
include not coming to a full stop and just yielding at the stop sign.
Obey Stop Signs!
5) Maybe I Can Run It
People have tried it for years, but out-running a yellow
or "caution" light just isn't in the cards for everyone. What's more is if the
light turns red before you successfully cross it, you have now ran a red light
and can get a ticket. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety,
running a red light is the leading cause of urban crashes. The Red Light Safety
Program says that in 2005, 165,000 injuries and more than 800 fatalities were
attributed to a motorist running a red light. That is estimated to cost the
public $14 billion each year. More people are injured in this type of crash than
4) Stop Right There, Partner
If you've ever tried to make a sharp turn and
almost clipped the front end of someone's car because the nose of the car is
over the white line, you've experienced this.
By Steve Morgan (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL],
via Wikimedia Commons
The "Stop Here on Red" signs are
needed to help other motorists make turns safely, but they get ignored every
day. If youíre trying to turn right and cross the limit line posted by the sign,
you can pull forward a bit unless there is a "no right turn on red" sign.
According to Officer.com, a sign that cannot be properly seen, or a person
turning right where allowed, should not be ticketed for crossing this limit
line. However, if the motorist can see the sign, is not turning right, or is
prohibited from turning right, that motorist can get a ticket. According to Road
Traffic.org, this is a regulatory sign, which means if you fail to follow it and
cause a wreck, you will be held liable, even if another car hits your car as
they are trying to turn.
3) Turn Around Ö Just Not Here
The "No U-Turn" signal is another ignored traffic
sign. This basically means you can't turn around in the middle of the road where
you were thinking of doing so. Most of these are posted at intersection with
traffic lights, but they get ignored often, despite being so obvious to see.
According to FairFax Underground, the fine for failure to obey this sign can be
$90 or more, depending on the particular circumstance.
If disobeying the sign
causes a wreck, it's not bumped up to reckless or careless driving, which can
come with jail time. A sign doesn't have to be posted for a motorist to get a
ticket for illegal u-turn, though. According to Washington State Traffic Laws,
an illegal u-turn is when a driver turns a vehicle in the opposite direction of
which they are driving when the movement cannot be made safely and without
interfering with traffic. It also includes when a motorist proceeds in the
opposite direction on any curve if the vehicle cannot be seen by the driver of
another vehicle approaching from either direction within 500 feet.
2) Buckle Up, It's For Your Own Good
Despite the fact that it's now known that
not wearing a seat belt can kill you, many people still donít buckle up. Seat
belt laws are found in every single state, except New Hampshire for adults, and
the District of Columbia and there are signs posted along roadways to let
motorist know of fines. If the threat of fines aren't enough, most people have
cars that are now equipped to make an annoying beeping sound until the driver
(and sometimes passenger) buckles their seat belt. According to MSN Autos, not
wearing a seat belt is one of the deadliest things a motorist can do. The site
says "33 per cent of people who die in vehicle fatalities failed to buckle up."
The Governor's Highway Safety Association says seat belt laws are divided into
primary and secondary offenses. Primary offenses allow for an officer to ticket
a driver for not wearing a seat belt, but a secondary only allows it if the
officer stopped the driver for other reasons and then noticed the driver was not
buckled. Different states have different levels of offense, and that means the
fines will be different by state and sometimes even by city.
1) I Can't Drive 55!
The most ignored traffic sign has to be the speed limit
signs. According to Forbes Magazine, more than 34 million speeding tickets are
issued each year in the U.S. That's roughly 65 tickets issued per minute. These
generated more than $5 billion in revenue for local government agencies, and the
average fine is $150. Some states, however, have heftier fines. For instance,
according to DMV.org, speeding tickets in Virginia can be considered a "reckless
driving" ticket, wish is doubled the fine. One ticket for going just 10 miles
over the speed limit can cost a motorist $300, time in jail, or community
service. But government agencies donít just profit. Auto insurance companies
also get a cut of the action. If a motorist is used a speeding ticket, their
insurance does go up. Every insurance company is different on how much the
insurance premium is raised, but almost all have a policy that if a motorist is
ticketed for speeding that motorist will pay a higher insurance rate. And the
issue isn't just how much money someone will pay. According to MSN Autos,
speeding is the 10th deadliest thing a motorist can do on the road.
Follow speed limit signs to prevent accidents!
via Wikimedia Commons
By W. Robert Howell from Charlotte, NC [CC-BY-SA-2.0],
via Wikimedia Commons
From the obvious to the not so clear, traffic signs are everywhere and they
are meant to be obeyed. Failing to do so can result in the loss of your license
and tickets, as well as raised insurance premiums. It can also result in injury
and death to yourself and to those around you. With many people (and sometimes
animals) sharing the road these days, traffic signs are put in place to help get
everyone to their intended destinations safely. Following the signs can do just
Top 20 Most Ridiculous Lawsuits
25 Funny & Crazy Arrest Stories
10 Innocent People who Died on Death Row
Top 15 Myths About Guns
15 Cool Things Prisoners Get To Have In Jail
Top 15 Illegal Drugs That Used To Be Legal
15 Unusual Ways Crimes Have Been Solved
15 Survivor Accounts of Gruesome Crimes
Top 20 Most Ignored Road Signs & Their Accidents
15 Fascinating Facts about the Mafia
15 Weird Actions That Are Prosecuted in the Modern World
15 Legal Counsel That Have Never Lost Court Cases
The Adverse Effects of Intellectual Property Laws on the World of Art