Stop Sign Safety

Stop Sign Accident

Have you ever wondered why a stop sign is red or why it is shaped like an octagon? The design of the memorable red sign has evolved over time in order to more quickly grab the attention of drivers so they can react faster.

According to Brown University, the first stop signs were posted in Michigan and Nebraska in 1915. They were square-shaped, measuring two feet by two feet with black letters on a white background. While these plain signs might have been adequate at first, as the number of cars on the road increased, the U.S. standardized all stop signs to the octagonal shape that we still see today.

The octagonal shape was chosen since it is less common, so that drivers could recognize it more easily from the back and at night. The stop sign began its current look in 1954, according to Reader’s Digest — a white outline and lettering against a red background.

Types of Intersections With Stop Signs

Intersections are often labeled as either controlled or uncontrolled. Controlled intersections are more common, and employ stop signs or traffic signals. Uncontrolled intersections are found in areas with little traffic, and will often have no stoplight or signage. Fifteen studies found unwarranted multi-way stops actually increased speed away from intersections as motorists try to make up lost time spent at “unnecessary” stops.

Below we discuss three common types of Texas intersections and the safety rules associated with each.

  • Four-way stop: At a four-way intersection controlled by stop signs, vehicles gain right of way in the order they reach the intersection.
  • T-junction: A T-junction is an intersection at which a minor roadway meets a major roadway. The minor roadway is almost always controlled by a stop sign, while the vehicles on the major roadway always have right of way. The vehicle planning to turn right or left onto the major roadway must come to a complete stop and look both directions before pulling out onto the major roadway.
  • Yield versus stop: “Stop” means you have to come to a complete stop. “Yield” doesn’t always mean you have to stop. Instead, a yield sign (which is an upside down triangular shape, in either red and white or yellow and black) means you must give the right-of-way to other traffic by slowing or stopping as necessary; however, if it is necessary, you are required to stop at a yield sign.

Texas Auto Accidents

If someone runs a stop sign and hits you, it can cause a lot of damage to your car and injure you and your passengers; but it may be your word against the other driver’s. If you or a family member has been injured in an auto accident, consult with one of our experienced Houston car accident lawyers. The initial consultation is free and puts you under no obligation. Contact us today.

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