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Monterey Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Car Accidents > Controversy Over Funny Road Message Signs And How They Can Increase Monterey Car Accident Risks

Controversy Over Funny Road Message Signs And How They Can Increase Monterey Car Accident Risks


Funny sayings on electronic message boards often surprise drivers and can bring about a smile while navigating roads and highways throughout the state. Traffic safety officials use puns and jokes as a means to engage the attention of drivers and share important information. While intended to reduce car accident risks, federal agencies claim it could pose hazards. Our Monterey car accident lawyer explains more about the controversy and how these signs can make distracted driving crashes more likely to happen.

Federal Officials Not Amused By Funny Road Signs

According to a January 2024 AP News report, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently released updates to its over 1,000-page manual containing rules and regulations regarding traffic signs throughout the country. The new provisions discourage the use of funny electronic message boards, claiming they distract drivers.

Posting funny or witty messages to drivers on these boards about serious safety issues has been a trend in recent years. While a more humorous approach may get attention, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that distracted driving can consist of any of the following:

  • Taking your eyes off the road;
  • Taking your hands off the steering wheel;
  • Taking your mind off what you are doing and what is happening around you in traffic.

As harmless as it may seem, looking at electronic message signs, pointing them out to passengers, and chuckling over the content can involve all three of the above distracted driving behaviors.

How To Avoid Monterey Distracted Driving Car Accident Risks

The California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) announced last fall that it was planning to install two dozen full-color overhead electronic message boards along roads in the Sacramento Valley and Sierra regions, with more sections of the state expected to follow. The new signs use high-resolution color text and images to relay real-time travel and traffic safety information to drivers.

While these signs are likely to distract drivers, CalTrans is more focused on conveying pertinent information to as many people as possible. To reduce any potential risks, take the following precautions:

  • Be mindful that when turning your head in any direction look at traffic signs, as you are likely to subtly steer in that direction as well.
  • Remain alert for other drivers who may get distracted by funny or bright flashing signs.
  • Keep both hands on the wheel at all times when driving and focus your attention on the road.
  • Allow other motorists plenty of space and avoid speeding, tailgating, or other aggressive behaviors that increase overall crash risks.

Request A Consultation With Our Monterey Car Accident Lawyer

Distracted driving is a common cause of car accidents in Monterey. If you or someone you love is injured in a crash, the Allen Law Firm can provide the trusted legal guidance you need to get compensation. To request a consultation with our Monterey car accident lawyer, call or contact our office online today.





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