Have you ever been on a road trip through our expansive and diverse country? There’s so much to see that you can only experience from land that you won’t get from the sky. From the salty breezes in Southern California to the rainforest of the Pacific Northwest, the Everglades in Florida to the thriving metropolis that is New York City, or the dusty roads that weave along Route 66, you’ll be awed by the beauty our country has to offer. Something else that you won’t find through the magic of flight, however, is the sheer number of road signs in our 50 states. Just how many road signs are there, anyway?
This article looks at just how many road signs there are in the US, what types of road signs there are, and what they’re used for. For personalized advice, contact our team at Signworks today.
What Are Road Signs Used For?
There are many types of road signs, all of which have a very distinct purpose. They provide an invaluable service to motorists and pedestrians alike, so it’s important to follow them (plus, it’s the law!).
- Regulate traffic: Signs such as stop signs, yield signs, and speed limit signs help to regulate the flow of traffic throughout our cities, towns, and rural areas. They ensure the road safety of everybody on the road, whether they’re in a car, truck, bus, or on a bike or on foot.
- Provide directions: Directional signs, route markers, and destination signs alert road users as to where they are and where they’re headed. These signs help people find the quickest, easiest, and safest route to their desired location.
- Warn road users: Warning signs, construction signs, and animal crossing signs are examples of road signs that alert users to potential hazards and help them take precautions to avoid dangers to themselves and others.
- Enforce laws: As well as helping people get to their destinations safely, road signs also act to enforce laws. Signs such as no parking signs, no U-turn signs, and no entry signs help enforce traffic laws and regulations.
Overall, road signs play an important role in promoting safe and efficient road use in every area of every state, helping road users to navigate their way around the country.
How Many Types Of Road Signs Are There In The US?
It’s probably something you don’t think about regularly, but if you take the time to imagine all the road signs that you see on a typical day out and about, it may not surprise you to realize there are so many! In fact, there are more than 500 federally approved placards used in the US that provide information to road users including motorists and pedestrians.
In recent years, many of these signs have been updated to show symbols rather than just words— this is to reflect our understanding that not everybody can read the words on a sign, but may be better able to understand the symbols.
Of the 500 types of road signs in the US, they come in different colors to reflect what they mean. Some are black and white, some are red and white, some are blue and white, and there are many other variances including yellow and green. For example, signs that indicate the turnoff to a particular city on a highway are green, whereas construction signs are generally black and yellow, while yield and stop signs are red and white.
Some examples of road signs are:
- Rail crossing signs
- Windy road warnings
- Steep descent warning signs
- Traffic light indicator signs
- Signals for a two-way road ahead
- Stop signs
- Yield signs
- Children crossing signs
- Cattle crossing signs
- Speed limit signs
- No parking signs
- Keep right and keep left signs
- Do not enter signs
And many more!
How Many Road Signs Are There In The US?
Now that we know what road signs are for, how many types of them there are, and what colors they are, it’s probably making you realize that the combinations are seemingly endless! Between that, the vast size of our country, and our large population, it may or may not shock you to find out there are approximately 40 million road signs in the US. Yes, 40 million!
Quick math tells us that there are about 4.12 million miles of road in the US. There are about 10 road signs per mile on average (taking lonesome country roads, bustling motorways, and all that’s in between into consideration), which equals the approximate 40 million number. That’s a lot of signs!
Looking For A (Road) Sign?
With approximately 40 million road signs in the US, it goes to show just how essential they are to promoting road safety and ensuring traffic slows smoothly. At Signworks, we have over 30 years of experience in creating road signs among many other types of signs— whatever you need, you can call on us! Whether it’s directional signs to inform drivers or pedestrians of where to go or regulatory signs to enforce laws or rules on a work site, our team at Signworks has you covered. To get started with your signage, contact us today!