If you’ve never thought about it before, you might be surprised to learn that all highway road signs have a color scheme which is meant to quickly convey to motorists information about the type of sign they are. In the case of highway construction indicators, all of these are now uniformly colored orange with black lettering, so that you will instantly know a work zone is up ahead. Find out more about construction zone placards in the information provided below.
What Color are Highway Construction Signs?
Using orange-colored signs with black lettering to convey alerts to drivers about upcoming work zones, was not used in this country until 1964. At that time, a greater prevalence of highway development projects made it desirable to start using a uniquely colored sign which could quickly convey to drivers that a work zone was nearby and that caution should be used in proceeding through it.
Also at that time, reflective aluminum materials were developed which made orange-colored indicators much more visible to drivers, and that removed a hindrance which had basically prevented their usage prior to the that time. Since 1964, orange-colored indicators with black text or symbols have been used pretty much exclusively in work zones to convey the existence of temporary cautions or hazards nearby.
Whenever you’re driving through an area, and you see an orange-colored side with black symbols or letters, you should automatically reduce your speed and proceed through the area with caution. These kinds of work zone warning placards may either be diamond-shaped or rectangular, and they will always alert drivers to the presence of flaggers who might be directing traffic, detours up ahead, road closures, hazardous work underway, hazardous materials near the roadway, or a stretch of slow traffic up ahead.
In some cases, orange-colored placards will instruct drivers to carry out specific actions, such as “BE PREPARED TO STOP.” You might also see these kinds of indicators posted in addition to detour indicators, guiding you to drive around the zone when the situation calls for road closure during work. These detour signs will provide whatever instruction is necessary to motorists to keep traffic flowing smoothly and to maintain worker safety.
In fact, this is why the indicators are needed in the first place, since safety must be maintained for both motorists and for workers. For that reason, anyone who disregards the regulations posted on the placards might well be subject to a fine double the normal amount, or even more. Anytime you encounter orange-colored work zone placards, it should be an automatic cue to you to reduce your speed, obey all traffic control devices and road placards, be ready to stop quickly, and to drive with extra caution.
Do Highway Construction Indicators Have a Designated Shape as Well?
There are several shapes that indicators may have in a given area, so you can’t always identify a sign by its shape. However, you can rely on the fact that a work-zone sign will be orange-colored with black lettering or black symbols, so as soon as you see this colored sign, it’s a good idea to slow down and proceed with caution. Most work zone placards will be shaped like a diamond, a triangle, or a rectangle, but all will be colored orange with black symbols or letters.
What Should a Driver do When They See an Orange Sign?
Summer is a time when it is particularly important to pay close attention to any work zone placards that you might see along the roadway, since this is the time of year when more road development takes place. Every year there are a number of fatal crashes involving vehicles in a work zone, and while this number of fatalities has been steadily decreasing, there are still a number of major crashes every year.
That makes it extremely important to follow any guidance or direction provided by placards posted around these zones, because they will generally include important information about the roadway up ahead. As soon as you see an orange-colored sign, you should decrease your speed and be on the alert for the possibility of additional actions being necessary, for instance a lane change or a detour up ahead.
Keep in mind that workers are generally focused on the work they are tasked with, and are not generally paying attention to traffic conditions around them. That makes it twice as important for drivers through the area to be aware of workers, so that their safety never comes into question. When driving through a roadwork zone, you should also be alert to the fact that it’s possible that debris may have fallen into the roadway, and you should be prepared to swerve around this if necessary.
It’s also possible that the roadway may be irregular or uneven because of development in progress, so you should be prepared to avoid potholes or other kinds of irregularities. Whenever there are flaggers or other work zone workers who are guiding traffic through the area, you are obliged to follow their instructions so as to maintain safe and smooth traffic flow. Within a construction zone, these flaggers have the same authority that policemen do, so make a point of complying with all guidance or directions provided by flaggers.
Purchase High-Quality Highway Construction Signs
At Worksafe Traffic Control Industries, we carry a huge variety of orange-colored work zone indicators, and if you need to replace any of these in your local community, we can provide you with every kind of sign necessary. You can count on receiving high-quality road placards, as well as all support hardware and accessories needed for their implementation. Contact us today with any questions you might have about our product lines, or to place an order for placards that you need to have installed.