Breakaway sign supports are an invaluable technology that makes traveling on the nation's highways and byways much safer. Designed to fail near the ground without slowing down an approaching vehicle very much, breakaway signs can reduce the damage to vehicles and reduce the chances that a car's occupants will suffer injuries.
Many local municipalities are keen to utilize this technology for the benefit of the residents and visitors, but they often fail to consider all of the necessary facets of the decision before making their purchase. This can lead to unnecessary expenses and even reduce the efficacy of the units purchased.
To avoid these problems yourself, be sure to consider the following five factors:
1. You may be able to be reimbursed for some or all of the costs associated with breakaway sign support acquisition and installation. This can help offset some of the higher costs associated with the parts and labor necessary to install breakaway supports. However, you'll need to follow all of appropriate guidelines to realize the maximum benefits allowed under law.
2. Different locations require different types of breakaway posts. For example, supports placed in areas with multi-directional traffic flow should be of the omnidirectional variety to provide a safety advantage for all motorists.
3. Breakaway sign posts are not appropriate for all locations. While breakaway sign posts are rarely more dangerous than conventional sign posts, they should only be used in applications in which they explicitly improve the safety profile of the area. They should not be used, for example, on raised medians.
4. The upfront costs of breakaway sign posts may be higher, but they offer long-term savings. For example, breakaway sign posts do not typically suffer damage during collisions, whereas non-breakaway supports are often irreparably damaged. This means that while you would only need to replace the upper sign and support for a damaged breakaway system, you would have to dig up and re-install a post for a conventional system that has been involved in an accident.
5. Upgrading to breakaway sign posts is not the only thing you must do to improve the safety of your roads. Several other factors must be considered, so you should always consult with a qualified civil engineer before making any significant changes. For example, if breakaway signs are not properly installed, the sign can cause damage to the colliding vehicle's windshield. This can lead to serious injuries or even death for the occupants.