Most Common Road Work Ahead Signs & Their Meanings

Road Work Ahead Sign

As a motorist, you have obviously come across a “road work ahead” signal. Have you ever wondered what they mean? Or maybe you learned about them when you were getting your driving license in driver’s education. This is a comprehensive article that will cover all there is to know about road work ahead signs. 

What Does a Road Work Ahead Sign Signal to Drivers?

When there are repairs being performed on roads, or construction work of roads, it is a requirement by law to have “road work ahead” signs. Repair work such as loose gravel, heavy construction material, and freshly laid roads can lead to injuries of other drivers and pedestrians. There are different indicators, each with a different meaning. They are:

  • Work performed on the shoulders. (Right/left shoulder closed ahead). When work is being done on a highway shoulder, this sign should be put up to let motorists know that there is a disturbance ahead. These signs should be placed at every 1-mile interval, or 8 feet interval if the work is less than a mile long. 
  • Detour sign. (Detour 500ft, 300ft, etc.). This sign directs traffic in another direction on a highway. It lets motorists know that there is a temporary traffic detour due to road work ahead. 
  • Road closed sign. When a channel is closed to all traffic, this sign is used to alert motorists that there is no through way because of work being done on the road. Only authorized equipment and vehicles will be let through. It is normal for this sign to be accompanied by a detour sign. 
  • Road machinery sign. Alerting motorists that there is heavy machinery on or next to the road is done by this sign. 
  • Two-way traffic sign. On a two-way highway, this sign alerts motorists that their lane is also used for opposing traffic. It is used when one side of the highway is closed to traffic. 
  • One lane sign. Lanes that are temporarily merged will have this sign. In some cases, it is used together with flagging procedures when the change of lanes is not clearly visible to motorists. 
  • Flagger sign/ traffic control person ahead. When there is a flagger up ahead, this sign is used to let motorists know to watch out for a flagger in case there is a disturbance in the roadway. Flagmen are usually dressed in brightly colored clothing which makes it easier to spot them. 

To forewarn drivers of any upcoming conditions in the roadway, these are most likely the indicator that will be put up for them. It is also important for pedestrians to acknowledge these signs whenever they are on a road that is being repaired or maintained. 

Workers Ahead Signs

Why do Motorists Need Signs to Alert Them to Upcoming Road Work?

To ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians. This is the most important reason for putting up road work signs. Work road signs are important and should not be ignored. They are specifically designed to ensure the safety of the drivers. In all instances, they are put up to prevent accidents. If a work road sign is not put up, then a driver is likely to be relaxed at the wheel. When there are signs put up then a driver will immediately try to follow the measure put in place for safety. 

These signs also tell a driver how fast or slow to drive. To reduce driving fatalities, some road work placards will be preceded by speed limit signs, to tell the drivers to slow down. Understanding placards is an important part of driver’s education that could be the difference between extreme situations. 

Navigating on a busy roadway with “road work ahead” signs and traffic signs are made easier because of the signs. Try to imagine the absence of these work signs. It would lead to many accidents, injuries, fatalities, and misunderstandings. Work ahead placards create order on the roads and pass along essential information to drivers. 

Most traffic signs and alert indicators are clearly marked with bright colors such as orange or red. These catchy colors have a purpose. The most clearly viewed color by the human eye is orange. Signs must be replaced every couple of years because of environmental wear and tear. If they are not replaced, they could pose a risk to drivers as well as pedestrians. 

Construction companies should make use of temporary roadwork placards and multi-message signs which are cheap to purchase in bulk. 

Where Can I Rent Road Work Ahead Signs?

If you are looking to rent these signs for the duration of a project, then we can help with that. View our placards available for rent here, or contact us today to learn more. 

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