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These Traffic Safety Signs Actually Increase Accident Risks

There is no shortage of road signs on Georgia’s roads warning drivers of construction, traffic patterns and accidents.  Traffic safety signs warning Atlanta drivers to avoid drunk driving or stay within speed limits can help remind motorists about the need for such safe driving practices. However, not all traffic safety signs in Georgia have a positive effect on reducing motorist accident risks.  In fact some may have the opposite effect.

A recent study actually found that traffic safety signs that display the number of fatalities that have occurred on that stretch of road or in the city recently could actually have a detrimental effect on motor safety. Many states now have these traffic safety signs that provide the tally of the number of fatalities recorded in the area. They are meant to catch a driver’s attention, and imprint on a motorist the need to drive safely at all times. They are meant to warn drivers about the very real risks of being involved in a serious accident. Unfortunately, these traffic signs could actually be having a detrimental effect on motorist safety. The study found that the signs caused a slight increase in the number of accidents on these roads.

The results of the recent study published in the Science journal found that when signs displayed a tally of the road traffic accident deaths to motorists, it actually resulted in a slight increase of 1.35% in the number of traffic accidents recorded on the six-mile stretch after the sign. When it came to the 5 -mile stretch after the accident death count sign, the accident rate actually increased by 1.52%. The researchers believe that the impact of these signs is equal to increasing the speed limit by as much as 5 miles an hour, or reducing the number of highway safety troopers by 6 to 14%.  The researchers were also able to calculate the number of accidents related to these traffic safety signs, and say that in the state of Texas at least, the death tally sign campaign resulted in 2,600 traffic accidents and at least 16 traffic accident deaths in one year alone.

While these are intriguing statistics, the researchers say that it’s hard to provide an explanation for why these signs seem to negatively impact accident risks.   One possible explanation could be the fact that motorists find it hard to absorb this additional information on accident fatalities, and this might result in an information overload for drivers. While regular traffic safety signs like those that say “Don’t Drink and Drive” may be ignored, a traffic sign stating the number of people killed in accidents on the road would likely grab a motorist’s attention, and possibly increase stress or distract him.

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident in the metro Atlanta region or anywhere in Georgia, talk to an Atlanta car accident lawyer at the Katz Law Firm and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages. You could qualify for a claim that helps to recover compensation for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering and other forms of damages.  Talk to a lawyer at our firm and discuss your case.

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