The sign of the times
When I worked on Discovery Channel’s show Canada’s Worst Driver, we had a participant from season one that tried to read every sign visible to him. He thought that if it was placed on the side of the road, there must be a reason for it. For that reason, he tried to read every one of them. That didn’t help him drive well because he ended up drifting out of his lane or had to drive too slowly to be able to read them. He needed to ignore the signs that weren’t any use to him. But how do you decide if a sign is meant for you?
Having a quick glance at signs is always a good way to start recognizing if you need to pay more attention to them. Yellow signs are warning you of impending problems ahead, so that helps to figure out if you need to pay attention to those signs. Are there other signs that need special attention from you? Perhaps one of the funniest warning sign stories was a picture of a deer with the caption below it that said “Night Danger”. The sister of an instructor thought it said “Night Dancer”. I guess the deer was too shy to dance in daylight.
Unique signs can sometimes make the driver shake their head after they read it. Sometimes it’s distracting enough to make the driver think more about what was on the sign as opposed to what they should be focusing on at the time while they’re driving. For example, does the sign on this article mean that drivers need to slow down because there are students walking nearby, or does it mean that slow students are walking by? Either way, keep an eye on the pedestrians whenever you’re close to them and give yourself time to respond to any sudden movements from them.
Speed signs are important to notice at any time. If the speed changes from one road to another, those signs would be located just around the corner. Looking ahead as you exit the turn will allow you to spot those signs. If you don’t spot the change of speed signs right away, I’m sure the police officer who just pulled you over will point it out to you.
Green destination signs on most highways and freeways are so huge, it’s so much easier to spot those compared to the smaller street signs we have in the cities and towns across our country. Looking well ahead will give you early notice to allow you time to make the correct lane choice to reach your destination. If it’s that easy, why do we see drivers backing up along the shoulder of the freeway so they can make the exit they just passed?
Look well ahead of you and keep your eyes moving to spot the important signs. A couple of quick glances are better than a longer stare. That allows your brain a chance to figure out if you need to adjust your driving, even if there are slow students.