Although most drivers travel on New Jersey roads as carefully as possible, accidents are still inevitable. Many collisions occur as a result of distracted driving. Even losing focus on driving for a few seconds can cause distraction. Federal officials are now hoping to reduce distracted driving accidents by eliminating humorous road messages.
Plans for sign removal
The United States Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) aims to remove all humorous electronic signs from roadways over the next two years. These signs appear everywhere on highways and freeways, showing cute, jokey messages to drivers to remind them to take precautions and warn them of dangers. While these signs are amusing, they are believed to be a major cause of motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving.
Rules for non-distracting road signs
The FHWA has issued guidelines on how all road signs must appear. According to the administration, replacement signs must be “simple, direct, brief, legible and clear.” They must inform drivers of traffic information, weather conditions and dangers to avoid such as driving under the influence, speeding and reckless driving. The new guidelines for 2026 are included in a new 1,100-page manual recently issued by the FHWA.
Dangers of distracted driving
Distracted driving is dangerous because it causes a driver’s attention to shift from the road. The three main types of distraction are cognitive, visual and manual; using a cell phone to text, take a photo or post on social media causes all three, but even one type is dangerous behind the wheel. This is why humorous electronic road signs pose the risk of distracted driving accidents; drivers might stare at the sign too long and laugh, causing them to lose focus on the road.
Even if a driver travels slowly, distraction can cause a serious accident. The best way to keep everyone safe is to avoid anything that could pose a distraction.