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Seminole & Largo Injury Lawyers > Blog > Car Accident > Can Funny Highway Message Board Signs Increase Pinellas County Car Accident Risks?

Can Funny Highway Message Board Signs Increase Pinellas County Car Accident Risks?


When driving along Interstate 275 and other major roads in Pinellas County, electronic message boards relay important information about traffic conditions and driver safety. To get the attention of motorists, these signs often rely on jokes and clever quips. The federal government recently put a stop to this practice, mandating changes within the next two years. Our Seminole car accident attorney explains why the feds do not think these signs are funny and how they could increase Pinellas County car accident risks.

Feds Raise Concerns Over Clever Highway Message Boards

Electronic messages along major highways and interstates are designed to protect public safety. However, recently the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) updated its 1,000-plus page manual for traffic signs and signals in the U.S. Posting funny or clever messages for drivers is now prohibited and changes must be implemented within the next two years.

According to a January 16, 2024 CBS News report, federal traffic safety officials are concerned the signs could pose a distraction to drivers. Distracted driving continues to be a common problem throughout the country and is a leading cause of car accidents in Pinellas County. It is generally divided into three different categories:

  • Distractions that cause you to take your eyes off the road;
  • Distractions that cause you to remove one or both hands from the steering wheel;
  • Distractions that divert your attention from the important and often complex task of driving.

Humorous electronic message signs on highways have the potential to involve all three. In reading the signs, drivers look away from the road. They may also point them out to passengers and in thinking about clever quips posted, lose focus on what is happening around them in traffic.

Could Humorous Highway Signs Increase Pinellas County Car Accident Risks?

While most of us appreciate a little humor injected into otherwise mundane situations, such as when sitting in traffic or making our commute, there is nothing funny about the risks when it comes to car accidents in Seminole. According to statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), close to 17,000 car crashes in Pinellas County happen each year.

Anything that diverts a driver’s attention from the road for even a few seconds could end up resulting in an accident, potentially injuring other drivers, passengers, nearby bicyclists, and pedestrians as a result. There are also concerns that funny highway message boards fail to adequately convey serious hazards. Using little jokes, puns, or clever signs to warn about the dangers of drunk driving, speeding, and other reckless behavior could cause motorists to downplay the risks.

Request A Consultation With Our Seminole Car Accident Attorney

Car accidents in Pinellas County are no laughing matter and often result in severe, life-threatening personal injuries. The Reep Law Firm helps victims and their families get the compensation they need to recover. To request a consultation, contact our Pinellas County car accident attorney today.





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