Despite being at millions of intersections and traffic junctions across the country, stop signs are rarely at the top of anyone's mind. During peak times of visibility — clear, sunny days, a standard stop sign is all you need, but what happens when visibility drops? In heavy rain, dense fog, or the dark of night, basic stop signs run the risk of not providing enough visibility, and it only takes one time where someone doesn't see a stop sign to change lives forever.
Here are a few of the top reasons why you shouldn't wait to trade in your basic stop signs for high-tech, solar LED models:
Visibility and Traffic Safety
In a perfect world, every road would be safe and easy to navigate. There would be no blind spots around corners, overgrown vegetation, or inclement weather that threatens vehicle operators' visibility. The world isn't perfect, though, and that's why our most important road signs need to be visible in any and all conditions.
There are plenty of places where stop signs are vitally important. Busy 4-way intersections for example, or really, any road with a higher-than-average speed limit. People have to be able to see stop signs clearly, often from far away to be able to stop in time to avoid damage. The consequences of a failure in this department are obvious. Imagine a driver doesn't see a stop sign in time, and is unable to stop their vehicle short of the intersection. The outcome there could very well be a catastrophic — or even, fatal — accident.
Flashing LED signs are a solution to this issue. Using the same reflective coating as basic stops, LED stop signs add a dimension of visibility with strobing lights around the outer edge. This means that drivers will see them earlier, creating safer conditions on the road.
This Doesn't Only Apply to Traffic Safety
Yes, LED stop signs can prevent accidents, but they also keep pedestrians safe as well. In residential areas nationwide, it's not uncommon for people to cross the street at a stop sign. If a driver isn't able to stop in time because they don't see that sign, it endangers the lives of the people who walk from place to place in a given area. Flashing LED signs solve this problem by making completely sure that drivers are able to see stop signs, even when visibility is obscured by weather, plant growth, or other unpredictable factors.
They're MUTCD Compliant
The MUTCD, or, "The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices" is a text detailing standards of road signs and symbols, released regularly by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Many civil engineers, city planners, and state and federal DOT employees don't realize that there are options outside of basic, non-lit signage that fall under acceptable regulations of the MUTCD. Not only are our solar LED flashing signs compliant with these federal regulations, their use is encouraged by the Federal Highway Administration. In fact, one FHWA resource cites two studies in which flashing LED stop signs were compared to conventional, basic stop signs and the results were enlightening:
- One study found that embedding LEDs in stop signs decreased the percentage of drivers who didn't fully stop by 30 percent and the percentage of those who ran stop signs by around 50 percent.
- The approach speed of drivers dropped by several miles per hour, especially when tests were run at night time.
What this means is that lighted stop signs aren't just conducive to traffic safety — drivers care more about them as well, and a higher of compliance equals safer roadways for everyone.
They Come with Available Options
Some people are surprised to hear that the MUTCD is actually fairly relaxed about stop signs, just as long as they're red. That means there's a range of different sizes, power sources, and flash options you can choose from when purchasing a new flashing LED stop signs.
Busy road with a high speed limit? You're probably better off going for the largest compliant sign you can find, with bright, white lights, and high-grade reflective coating — we use up to 8 LED bulbs, rust-proof finish, and reliable 3M, diamond-grade coating.
For less crucial situations, you can opt for a smaller sign (but still within the regulated range) with from dusk until dawn flashing lights. For example, a less obvious sign is a good call in residential neighborhoods where people are concerned about traffic safety outside their homes, but don't want to worry about flashing lights in their windows at all times.
Flashing LED Signs are Energy Efficient
You might think that adding electricity to a sign negates its ability to be environmentally friendly. Normally, that would be the case, but even our brightest signs are solar-powered. This means that all day, they charge by absorbing energy from the daylight and transmit this energy into the electric power that causes our LED bulbs to work throughout the night if need be.
This means they're carbon neutral and convenient to put up, with no need to for cords, cables or connection through ground lines, although they are available with an AC power source if you wish.
In addition to the power source, they are available in a flashing variant that will only actively flash from dusk until dawn only. This saves power for over half of the day.
It's Time to Join the LED Movement
If you're in charge of public or road safety in a city, county, or federal district, one of the smartest choices you can make is to replace your old, basic stop signs, with new LED flashing signs. They make the roads safer for pedestrians and drivers, they're compliant with all regulations and they provide customizable, cost-effective safety when you need it.