How Can Better Road Signs Save Motorbike Riders?
Vehicle transportation is a staple component of our society. When commuting, we see hundreds of cars and trucks on the road, including advertisements and outdoor digital signage. Sometimes it truly is a wonder how all the vehicles on the road can live in harmony. The credit for road safety goes for a range of components on the road like roading markings, signs, and signals. Additionally, the work done by governments deserves a shout out too. But safety tends to get overlooked for motorbike riders since they are relatively fewer in number. Motorbikes offer a lot less protection than their vehicular counterparts, which means they are more at risk of fatal accidents. It has been suggested that better road signs can save the lives of motorbike riders. But how can this be done?
Visible road signs
Driving is an activity that requires a driver’s full attention and is dependent heavily on vision. Therefore, the only way to communicate information to drivers about road safety is through visual stimulation. Traditional road signs tend to be harder to see, especially since they get worn out with time. Studies have noted that improved road markings and signage have helped increase safety on the road for all road users. When brighter signs have been installed, it has been seen that crash numbers have fallen by almost half. Therefore, installing more modern road signs and even replacing older ones can have a huge impact and save the lives of motorbike riders.
You could simply make older road signs from metal in the past, which did its job but was not super effective. Traffic signs have been revolutionized through technology like retroreflective signs in modern times. These signs work on the principle of reflectivity. What essentially happens is that the light from the headlights of a car or motorbike hits the sign and is reflected to the driver. This returned light makes the road sign appear brighter to the driver, ensuring that they will give them more attention. Therefore, motorbike drivers will be alerted to any road safety alerts, and cars will also be careful. Overall, this results in more safety for motorbike riders.
A study conducted by researchers found that the symbols on traditional road signs are too passive. They found that drivers were more likely to take action accordingly if the symbols depicted more motion and dynamism. This is because drivers do not have much time to read something, so it will catch their attention if they see a depiction of movement. These symbols can even show a greater risk depiction if designed correctly, resulting in drivers driving more safely. For example, a sign showing falling rocks can show rocks falling closer to the car, showing a genuine danger to their safety. This may prompt drivers to be more alert for any collapses, increasing road safety for them and motorbike riders.
Better Sign Warnings
Just as symbols on signs can influence drivers, so can the warnings written on them. Typically when roads allow cars, motorbikes, and bicycles to share a lane, the signs will read ‘Share the road.’ But this warning is very ambitious, as most drivers may not realize that they are talking about bikes and may think they are trucks. In a quick survey conducted by researchers, they found that more people understood the sign that was about cyclists when it said, ‘Bicycles may use the full lane.’ We can apply this same principle for motorbikes too. Such an implementation can alert drivers to the presence of motorbikes that they can sometimes forget since cars are usually a majority of the road. This can help increase safety for motorbike riders.