Are Deaf/Blind Child Warning Road Signs Effective?
When parents have children who enjoy spending time playing outside, safety is always going to be a big concern. Reckless drivers can easily put children in danger and parents need to worry about making sure their children don’t play too close to the road and know not to run into the street. But when you have a deaf or blind child, there are other things to worry about since they may not be able to hear an oncoming vehicle or see a car coming.
One thing some parents of deaf and blind children do to keep them safe while playing outside is look into having a road sign installed on their street to let drivers know that a deaf or blind child may be in the area who might not be able to see or hear them. But are these signs effective at protecting children?
Research into the effectiveness of these types of signs, including general Child at Play signs, has not conclusively proven that they significantly improve safety. In fact, many traffic engineers believe that installing too many road signs can have the opposite of their intended effect. Generally speaking, the Federal Highway Administration recommends keeping road signs to a minimum because studies have found that drivers tend to be less likely to obey all road signs when too many are installed. Anecdotal comments from parents who have had the signs installed reflect mixed experiences. Some parents have said the signs seemed to be helpful, but others have said the signs did nothing to help improve driver behavior.
There’s also a chance that drivers may eventually stop paying attention to the sign. Since Deaf Child and Blind Child signs tend to be less common than other types of road signs, they often stand out to drivers when the signs are first installed. But as people become used to seeing those signs as part of their daily routine, they can become more likely to disregard the sign over time.
Some safety experts also believe there are some inherent flaws to Deaf Child, Blind Child, and Child at Play signs that make them less effective. For example, these types of signs don’t make it clear where exactly a deaf or blind child may be and don’t tell drivers exactly which actions they should be taking.
Children of all abilities should be able to play safely in their own yards. If your child has been injured by a negligent driver, it’s extremely important to make sure you have a lawyer on your side who can make sure you get all the help you need. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to talk to an experienced Michigan car accident lawyer. Contact us today for help with your case.