Whether you are crossing the street, making a turn, or driving on a highway, following the traffic signs plays an important part in keeping you and other vehicles and pedestrians safe on the road. The main purpose of these signs is to provide people with important information and warnings about the road so they can avoid getting into an accident of any kind.
That’s why any street sign maker should do their best in making all types of traffic signs detectable, legible and comprehensible so drivers and pedestrians can stay safe at all times when on the road.
Typically, a good quality street sign manufacturer needs to follow several steps to ensure their traffic signs are effective. In this article, we take a closer look at what constitutes a high-quality street sign manufacturer.
The importance of following the federal guidelines
Street signs must adhere to strict federal guidelines as established by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), as well as comply with state and local regulations. While today there is some flexibility in design in terms of color, shapes, and sizes, since the sign requirements and developments during the Great Depression, the majority of street signs used for communicating with traffic are standard.
In general, sign manufacturers must be able to understand the specific requirements regarding font size, dimensions, visibility as well as retroreflective coating materials that improve night visibility. This coating reflects light back from the driver’s vehicle headlights to illuminate the sign, allowing it to shine brighter at night.
As digital signs are beginning to appear in some cities now, street signs will continue to improve and be visible at night. Drivers can also get additional information from electronic signs, such as traffic news or detours. Thanks to the advancement of technology in recent years, the MUTCD is regularly updated by the Department of Transportation.
Choosing the right materials
Choosing the right materials is another very important thing street sign manufacturers need to be mindful of when creating traffic signs. In general, most street signs are made of aluminum and other durable materials because of their strength and resistance to extreme weather conditions. Unfortunately, over time, almost all street signs can fade as a result of high sun exposure, age, and vandalism.
Besides aluminum, many street sign manufacturers also use stainless steel. Some reasons for that include better cost savings, greater durability, more versatility, environmentally friendly, easy and simple maintenance, and fast installation.
For example, durability is one of the most important elements manufacturers need to pay attention to when making traffic signs. The good thing about stainless steel is that it is highly resistant to harsh weather conditions, dents, and scratches, as well as corrosion, compared to aluminum which will have to be replaced more often.
No matter which type of material a street sign manufacturer uses, they all must have a working knowledge of all the materials and know how to protect the surface with protective overlay laminate films and retroreflective sheets.
Defining the right sign placement
Defining the right sign placement is another important aspect street sign manufacturers need to pay attention to. Experts recommend that signs need to be at least one inch high for every twenty-five feet as these signs are easily read by all legal drivers. If a sign were to be read from 410ft away, then the letters would be 16.4 inches high, assuming traffic moves in both directions at 30 mph.
If the sign uses fancy lettering that is difficult to read, it is important that street sign makers increase the minimum letter size. They should avoid using a script or fancy lettering because traffic signs should be both functional and visually appealing.
The importance of traffic signs can never be overlooked. They provide important information and warning to drivers and pedestrians and keep them safe when on the road.
In order for the traffic signs to be effective, detectable, and comprehensible, they need to be made from durable materials, have clear writings on them, and comply with all federal, state, and local regulations. This is where street sign manufacturers come into play as they are the ones responsible for making effective traffic signs.
For more information, refer to our post to learn about the qualities a good street sign manufacturer should possess.