5 Most Common Construction Signs and Their Meanings

Common Signs Featured

These days, you’ll be able to find all kinds of road signs over the course of an afternoon drive.

You may even spot some that you don’t recognize. Not knowing the exact meaning of all the indicators you see is understandable but you should work to change that.

Road placards are essential for the purposes of maintaining order. They prevent accidents and keep all of us motorists going in the right direction. On top of that, knowing what a road sign means right away can also be helpful if you want to get to your destination faster.

In this article, we’ll talk about identifying different road indicators. We’ll also focus on construction placards so that you can better identify which roads to avoid and also find out what you’ll need if you are about to start a new project.

What Do the Shapes and Colors of the Road Signs Signify?

The shapes and colors featured in road indicators are not chosen at random. They carry significance and you can look at them to quickly find out what a road sign means.

The Significance of the Shapes

Let’s start with the shapes.

According to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, rectangular indicators that are longer horizontally are typically used as guides. Since there’s more surface area to work with in rectangular placards, it’s easier to include directions that help motorists reach a specific place. The rectangular indicators that are longer vertically are commonly used to convey traffic regulations such as speed limits.

Square placards can also be used to remind motorists of traffic laws in the area. They are also used to indicate that there are essential establishments such as hospitals and gas stations nearby. If you’re out camping, look for square indicators because they can tell you where you need to go.
Next up are the diamond-shaped indicators. Diamond-shaped placards are used as general warnings and they also let motorists know that potential hazards are up ahead. Many road work-zone indicators are diamond-shaped.

You also have unique shapes that are typically used to convey just one kind of message. Octagon-shaped placards are used for stop signs, inverted triangles are yield indicators, pentagons are for school zones, and circular placards indicate that there’s a railroad crossing coming.

Sign Shape Guide

The Significance of the Colors

Red is an important color on the road. In the case of traffic indicators, you’ll only see red used on stop, yield, and on other placards that prohibit entry.

Meanwhile, green indicators show you where you can drive or offer some directional guidance. Yellow placards are for general warnings. Fluorescent green or yellow indicators are often used along with road crossings and school zones.

Blue placards are for marking essential establishments and tourist spots while the brown indicators will guide you to recreational areas.

Coral placards are used whenever incident management is taking place. Lastly, orange placards are put up when there is roadwork or maintenance happening up ahead.

How Do I Tell if There’s a Road Construction Project Taking Place?

No one likes getting stuck in traffic. It can ruin an otherwise pleasant day and possibly lead to issues at work. The good news is that your knowledge of road indicators can help you avoid heavy traffic.

Keep your eyes down the road and try to see if there are any orange indicators up ahead. That’s the clearest indicator that there’s roadwork going on. As soon as you see that orange road sign, consider making a turn somewhere and finding a different route.

Since those orange road indicators are so easy to spot, you should be able to see them and adjust your route before you end up trapped inside a long lineup of vehicles.

What Are the Different Road Construction Signs?

Work-zone placards all urge motorists to be more careful but they can still convey different meanings. Pay close attention to them so that you know exactly how to proceed while inside your vehicle.

Workers Ahead Signs

The “workers ahead” sign is among the most common road indicators and it urges all motorists passing by to exercise caution.

Some workers may be too focused on their tasks to notice vehicles zooming by. As the driver, you have to be the one who approaches more carefully.

The “workers ahead” sign is also meant to warn drivers about potential hazards. Construction workers set up numerous safeguards to prevent any debris from hitting passing cars but you should still drive more cautiously.

Workers Ahead Signs

Flagger Ahead Signs

Some companies will designate flaggers to work on their sites. The flagger’s job is to essentially manage traffic around the perimeter of the job site. The flagger may even use paddles to let drivers know when they can pass or when they should stop.

Seeing the “flagger ahead” sign as you’re passing by a work zone should save you from getting frustrated over the seemingly unpredictable traffic.

Road Work and End Road Work Signs

Construction companies know that disrupting traffic is not going to be popular in the eyes of the motorists. Still, that work has to be done.

To help keep too many drivers from being inconvenienced, companies will often set up “road work” indicators well ahead of the job site. You should reconsider your route if you encounter a “road work” sign along the way. “End road work” placards may also be put up so that drivers will know when they can move around more freely.

Detour Signs

In an effort to help drivers avoid getting stuck in heavy traffic, roadworking companies may set up “detour” indicators. These should prove very helpful if you’re not familiar with a certain area. Just be sure to follow the directions outlined by the indicators correctly so that you avoid getting lost.

Road Closed Signs

There are times when roads have to be completely closed off due to how much work is going on. Companies will indicate as much using “road closed” indicators.

Unfortunately, there really is no choice to make when you see a “road closed” sign. You will simply have to use an alternate route to reach your destination.

Road Closed Signs

Why Road Construction Signs Are Important to Both Motorists and Companies

Roadwork placards help maintain a sense of order. Without them, you could end up seeing drivers getting frustrated and wandering all over the place as they try to find a clear path. The workers themselves may find it difficult to do their job if they have to constantly watch for oncoming cars.

Maintaining order is just one of the reasons why putting up road indicators is necessary. Included below are some other reasons worth highlighting.

The Importance of Road Construction Signs for Companies

They Help Protect the Workers

Construction sites are often very secure locations that boast an array of safety features designed to account for several potential hazards. When a worker is on a job site, he/she can expect to be well protected.

The problem is that those safety features cannot account for everything. Motorists passing by the construction site can be unpredictable and they pose a danger to the workers. Roadwork placards are necessary for offering better protection to the workers present at the job site.

They Help Secure the Construction Site

Along with posing a threat to the workers, drivers may also cause damage to the project itself if they move around carelessly. You don’t want the project’s completion date being pushed back because of some careless drivers. Put up roadwork indicators to let drivers know that they need to steer clear of the job site.

They Help Minimize the Amount of Complaints

Regardless of what the project is for, you’ll have a hard time convincing the drivers to not mind it because it’s interrupting their routine. Anything that inconveniences people tends to be looked upon poorly.

The best you can do is to post plenty of roadwork indicators. Hopefully, they will alert motorists right away and they will also give them enough time to change their routes. You may still end up receiving some complaints but fewer people may get angry if you provide ample warning.

The Importance of Road Construction Signs for Drivers

They Help Drivers Pick Out Better Routes

They Help Drivers Pick Out Better Routes

Seeing a roadwork sign on your way to work is not exactly pleasant but it does give you a chance to change your route before the traffic gets really bad. Switch to an alternate route if you’re already familiar with the area. If you don’t know the area too well, then perhaps try to look for some “detour” placards or use your GPS to find a different route to your destination.

They Help Drivers Avoid Accidents

The only thing worse than getting stuck in traffic due to ongoing work is being involved in an accident due to that same project. Construction companies will implement various safety measures to secure the job site but you need to do your part as the driver as well. Drive more carefully as soon as you see the warning sign to avoid any accidents.

They Help Drivers Conserve Fuel

Being in traffic for too long can lead to you wasting fuel. That is especially true on hot days when you probably have the air-conditioner on full-blast. By heeding the warning provided by a work-zone sign, you should be able to find a more fuel-efficient path to your destination.

Where Should I Buy or Rent Road Construction Signs From?

Roadwork placards can make things easier for both the companies and the motorists. Make sure you have them on hand before you start your next project.

We at Worksafe Traffic Control Industries are ready to handle all your road construction sign needs. Contact us today to learn more about which road construction placards are available.


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