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Harrisburg Worker’s Compensation Lawyer > Blog > Car Accidents > Federal Officials Claim Funny Highway Signs Distract Drivers, Increase Harrisburg Car Accident Risks

Federal Officials Claim Funny Highway Signs Distract Drivers, Increase Harrisburg Car Accident Risks


If you rely on the Capitol Beltway and other major highways surrounding Harrisburg to go to work, run errands, or visit family and friends, it is important to be aware of potential hazards. To protect public safety, traffic officials use electronic highway signs to convey important messages and precautions motorists should take.

Making these messages more humorous and using clever puns helps capture attention. However, it could also increase distracted driving risks. Our Harrisburg car accident lawyer explains more about the controversy and how it could impact your safety on the road.

Jokes And Puns No Laughing Matter, Claims Federal Officials

If you travel local highways, you have likely encountered electronic road signs advising you of traffic conditions or accidents that lie ahead. Some signs address speeding and other reckless driving behaviors. The idea is to make motorists aware of the risks, but federal officials recently warned that it could be creating additional hazards.

According to a January 15, 2024 CBS News report, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is advising state traffic safety officials to discontinue posting funny messages or clever puns. These do so well in capturing the attention of drivers that they could increase the chance of distracted driving accidents.

Distracted driving involves any type of behavior that causes the driver to take their eyes off the road, their hands off the steering wheel, or their minds off the important task of driving. According to the FHWA, clever messages such as “Don’t Drive Star Spangled Hammered,” which appeared on Pennsylvania highway signs last summer, could pose the following hazards:

  • Drivers take longer to read clever messages, which could cause them to swerve into other lanes;
  • They spend more time thinking about the joke or trying to decipher a pun, which could cause them to miss signs of trouble or an impending crash;
  • Clever sayings capture their attention but could potentially downplay the risks the sign was originally intended to convey.

Protecting Yourself Against Distracted Driving Car Accidents In Harrisburg

In its over 1,000-page manual outlining traffic control rules and regulations, the FHWA is advising that signs with funny or clever sayings be eliminated within the next two years. Unfortunately, there are numerous other distractions that divert attention from the road.

Talking on cellphones and texting is a common cause of distracted driving accidents in Harrisburg. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) warns that motorists are strictly prohibited from using handheld devices while behind the wheel. Other activities that increase the odds of a crash:

  • Changing GPS or car stereo settings while driving;
  • Adjusting your appearance in rear view mirrors;
  • Drinking coffee and other beverages or eating fast food;
  • Reaching to hand items to children in the backseat.

Injured In A Crash? Contact Our Harrisburg Car Accident Lawyer

Distracted driving is a common cause of car accidents in Harrisburg. If you or someone you love is hurt, contact Ira H. Weinstock, P.C. We provide the trusted, local legal representation you need to protect your rights in a claim. Request a consultation with our Harrisburg car accident lawyer today.





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