Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Outside the bag the box came in.

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Real Roadside Hazard Warnings

Iconographic signs showing most common cause of accidents at that location
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
  [vote for,

Near my house there is an intersection that seems to host about one accident a day. Some days I don't see the tow-trucks, ambulances, etc. but just see the piles of shattered glass swept to one side that remains. 99% of these accidents are caused by cars swerving across a lane of oncoming traffic to get to the Interstate.

What I want to see are small, round, brightly colored signs -- maybe blue, since all the other good colors are already taken -- with a simple image showing the most common cause of accidents at locations that are far above the average for accidents (adjusted for amount of traffic passing through).

The images would need to be simple to avoid causing even more accidents. For instance: a beer bottle, pairs of drag racing cars, a white-haired senior at the wheel, a turtle (for slow drivers), or, in the case of my intersection, a car swerving across a lane.

You know those crosses that people sometimes place next to the road where there's been a fatal crash? WHAT KIND OF HELPFUL INFORMATION DOES THAT PROVIDE? All it does is freak you out without giving you any pointers as to how to avoid the same fate.

magrak, May 10 2002

Spidey Sense for your Car http://www.halfbake..._20for_20your_20Car
a more geek friendly (i.e. high tech) solution to the problem [krelnik, Oct 04 2004]

Road Signs from around the world http://www.elve.net/rcoulst.htm
entertaining comparison of warning signs in different countries [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       I can think of so many places where this would be useful.
yamahito, May 10 2002

       This would be a real exercise in graphic design, or it would not work at all. Witness how many people (in the UK anyway) don't understand all of the current ones. (The classic: a round sign with a red border and a picture of a bike doesn't mean "cycle path")
mcscotland, May 10 2002

       thus the problem - new drivers (or all drivers?) don't tend to learn the simple code of sign shapes: generally triangle=hazard, round=forbidden, square/rectangle=information. (right? or just UK?). Better driving all round would be desirable. I'm not sure about this idea, I think it is on the right lines but it's a big-ish problem of how to keep the signs simple yet still explanatory enough. But I'm feeling positive so you can have my croissant in advance of further bake-age.
sappho, May 10 2002

       Where I live, such areas are marked with large yellow signs that say "Aggressive Driver High Accident Area."   

       Areas with a much higher than average accident rate really need to be redesigned to lower the rate. That's the real solution to this problem.
waugsqueke, May 10 2002

       One hazard of design, waugs, is non-standard curves. Road curves should conform to bezier (sp?) curves* for maximum handle-ability. I vaguely recall that there was a successful lawsuit against a municipality for having a dangerous curve, at which there were frequent and severe accidents.

*Bezier curves are curves that are inherently aesthetically pleasing. Graphic artists use them to layout text and other design objects. Way back when, we had plastic bezier templates for layout work. Anyway, the mathematics behind bezier curves are fractal/recursively elegant. They're also "natural" curves, in that phenomena such as the arc of a blade of grass, or the line of a tree's branchings, or the weathered meanderings of river deltas, all approximate bezier structures. Really nifty shit.

Sorry for the diversion. We now return you to the topic at hand. What was it again?
quarterbaker, May 10 2002

       Yep, qb, I knows beziers. (That's pronounced BEZZ-ee-ay, right?)   

       Curve banking is another problem. A road I regularly drive has a fairly sharp turn that is perfectly flat, and not banked even slightly. I don't know of accidents there are more frequent - I've not seen any evidence - but it always feels like a dangerous turn to me when I drive it.
waugsqueke, May 10 2002

       Is there any good way of drawing bezier curves, or a reasonable approximation thereof, at about a 6-foot scale?
supercat, May 10 2002

       Am i the only one who is fed up of ideas that begin with the word 'REAL'. I mean, its not like the previus ones were fake, or non existent is it?
[ sctld ], May 10 2002

       supercat -- buy an 8 ft. long fishing rod; any curve you can bend it to without breaking it would be pretty close
quarterbaker, May 10 2002

       [waugs]: those flat or banked-the-wrong-way turns are called "off-camber." They are extremely hazardous.
bristolz, May 10 2002

       REAL [sctld] ...Lloyd's Landing, Montague, Michigan...East shore of Lake Michigan...A 10 MPH slope that no one took seriously...Saw two cars tumble horizontally on one of these "off-camber" slopes...Fun for the Triple A fishing them out of the adjacent canal.
jurist, May 11 2002

       Jurist: When i said 'non-existent' i actually meant that its not as if the current signs don't physically exist, you can touch and feel the current signs, so they are real. Just a pet peeve really.
[ sctld ], May 11 2002

       There should be compulsory diagrams on *all* things that have ended in a fatality - it'd just be interesting to know what _not_ to do with, say marshmallows.
lubbit, May 13 2002

       I see a warning sign with a picture of a guy reading a warning sign...
RayfordSteele, May 13 2002

       Where are you that you see this unusual sign [RayfordSteele]?
bristolz, May 13 2002

       somewhere that cars tend to mount the pavement (sidewalk!)
po, May 13 2002

       <tangent>The best product warning I've seen: I was helping a friend remove an aluminum TV antenna from his roof. It had the usual warnings about conducting electricity and had the picture with the stick man and lightning bolts. The final sentence of the warning sticker was "You could be killed". I found that to be fairly unambiguous.</tangent>
half, May 13 2002

       [bris] in my own world, dearie. In my own world.
RayfordSteele, May 13 2002

       "Speed Hump" in an alley in Santa Monica @ 5th & Wilshire and another official caution sign showing a Muscle-bound man near the Muscle Beach section of Venice, CA are nice local signs.
thumbwax, May 14 2002

       There are warning signs in Glencoe (Scotland) that say in a number of langauges (I'm paraphrasing here), "Yes, these moutains are beautiful but while you're driving watch the bloody road, OK?"
calum, May 14 2002

       < reminds self to go to scotland to see beautiful _moutains_ >
neelandan, May 15 2002

       As the founder member (indeed, only member) of LALA (League Against Language Abuse) I feel it my duty to point out that the _English_ word "mountain" evloved to refer to the larger bumps in the landscape up to around 4000 ft high. If you want to refer to even larger bumps -- invent your own word.
[Removes toungue from cheek]
grob, May 15 2002

       Hey, don't blame me, that's how it's spelled when you translate it back from Dutch. I guess it was their best approximation, as they have no word for "mountain" but over 60 for "flat."
calum, May 15 2002

       // "evloved", "toungue" // grob, I see you also invent your own words. Does poor spelling count as language abuse?
waugsqueke, May 15 2002

       The discussion of sign notation reminds me of an entertaining web site I ran across which compares the formats of "Men at Work", "Falling Rocks" and "Children at Play" signs in various countries around the world. It is much more entertaining than it sounds! For example check the commentary on the men-at-work sign for Great Britain, or the children-at-play sign for Zimbabwe. (See link). WTAGIPBAN.
krelnik, Nov 19 2002


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