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FHWA Home / Safety / Intersection / Strategy E5. Install Larger Regulatory and Warning Signs at Intersections

Strategy E5. Install Larger Regulatory and Warning Signs at Intersections

NCHRP Report 500 / Volume 5: A Guide for Addressing Unsignalized Intersection Collisions

WHERE TO USE

Approaches to unsignalized intersections with patterns of rear-end, right-angle, or turning collisions related to lack of driver awareness of the presence of the intersection.

Photo of a four-way stop intersection treated with oversize stop signs.
Photo by: FHWA

DETAILS

The visibility of intersections and, thus, the ability of approaching drivers to perceive them can be enhanced by installing larger regulatory and warning signs at intersections. Such improvements may include stop signs, intersection warning signs, stop ahead signs, pavement markings, and post-mounted delineators. The FHWA Older Driver Highway Design Handbook encourages such improvements to contribute to a better driving environment for older drivers.

KEY TO SUCCESS

Select a combination of regulatory and warning sign techniques appropriate to conditions on particular approaches to unsignalized intersections. This engineering judgment should, where possible, be accompanied by a human factors assessment of the need for regulatory and warning signs.

Another key is the ability and commitment of the highway agency to adequately maintain the signs.

ISSUES

Care should be taken not to overuse traffic signing, as it is likely that drivers will become accustomed to their presence and fail to respond as desired or intended. Agencies should strive to use special signing only where a specific problem or circumstance indicates the need.

TIME FRAME: Short

This strategy does not require a long development process. Signing improvements can typically be implemented in 3 months or less.

COSTS: Low

Costs for implementing this strategy are nominal. An agency's maintenance costs may increase.

EFFECTIVENESS

TRIED: One limited study has indicated that installing larger stop signs may decrease all collisions by up to 19%.

COMPATIBILITY

This strategy can be used in conjunction with most other strategies for improving safety at unsignalized intersections.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION

Signing in conformance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices should be provided.

For more details on this and other countermeasures: http://safety.transportation.org



For more information contact:

FHWA Office of Safety Design
E71, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, D.C. 20590
(202) 366-9064
http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov

FHWA Resource Center – Safety and Design Team
19900 Governor's Drive, Suite 301
Olympia Fields, IL 60461
(708) 283-3545
https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter

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Page last modified on September 4, 2014.
Safe Roads for a Safer Future - Investment in roadway safety saves lives
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000