Sign, sign, everywhere a sign!
What’s your sign? When I get that question asked to me I respond “children crossing.” I don’t think that’s what they meant. However, there are a bunch of signs around us and do we even notice half of them? Maybe, but shouldn’t we, as drivers, notice more signs so we can protect ourselves and other road users? There are a number of signs that a lot of drivers tend to misunderstand, ignore or just don’t notice at all.. Here’s my list of the most common signs drivers need a lesson on.
The first on my list is the stop sign. Most feel they need to “slow and go” instead of stop. When I train new drivers, I explain how our minds work when we’re stopping. The first step is stop and the next step is to scan to see if it’s clear to go. If you’re slowing and scan before you come to a stop, your brain tells you that it’s clear and then you go. Your brain hasn’t told you if you stopped or not. So, feel the vehicle stop before scanning to see if it’s clear. This will help you come to a full stop.
Another sign commonly ignored is the yellow “lane ends” sign. Drivers drive right up to the end of the closed lane and then try to slide into the next lane. Maybe I should try that at the grocery store. Walk alongside the line of people and then slip in behind the first person in line. I’m sure that would go over well, don’t you? The best advice is to look ahead to spot that sign early and then attempt to change lanes early by adjusting speed. Who knows; that might work better!
Another ignored sign, which puts drivers at risk is the yellow “slippery when wet” sign. Since it doesn’t rain here every week, we tend to ignore it, but when the roads are wet, we need to slow down. These signs are often on bridges, so please adhere to these signs in poor weather. Look for any yellow sign as it warns us of impending danger.
The next sign on my list goes to the drivers who ignore the “no turn allowed” signs. They hold up the drivers behind them. As a suggestion, plan your route so you can make a proper, legal turn and not annoy the drivers behind you. If you needed to turn left but couldn’t, go past the street and then make 3 right turns. That’s our new math; 3 rights = 1 left.
The last sign on my top five list goes to drivers who ignore “no stopping signs”. These signs are strategically placed near corners, crosswalks, bus stops and high traffic areas. Stopping there is a large inconvenience to those people who need to use the area for other purposes. Do you think these drivers noticed those signs, or perhaps they just chose to ignore them? No need to stop and think about it. This is a no-brainer.
The bottom line with signs is that they are there for drivers to adhere to. Pay attention to the signs and know what the proper response is. Think of it as a sign of the times for better things to happen!