Laws About Hitting Road Signs

[box type=”shadow”]Driving isn’t always as easy, and without the help of road signs, drivers would often find themselves uninformed, confused and even lost. Some of the most important traffic signs are those involving warnings. Warning and caution signs warn drivers about potential upcoming dangers or hazards. Hundreds of warning and caution signs are on the roads, they easily are grouped into different categories.[/box]

[box type=”shadow”]Careless Driving
Drivers who are momentarily distracted, hit a patch of black ice or otherwise inadvertently run into a sign may be charged with careless driving. Careless driving laws in most states imply accidental negligence or a behavior that doesn’t flagrantly violate traffic law. In most states, careless driving is a relatively minor moving violation and isn’t cause for license revocation by itself.

Reckless Driving
If an investigating traffic officer deems the driver wasn’t merely distracted or a victim of split-second poor judgment, the driver may face reckless driving charges. Reckless driving charges imply that a driver was willfully violating traffic laws and heedlessly ignoring common road sense. Actions such as excessive speeding, rapid lane changes, radical breaking or other potentially dangerous behaviors that lead up to the accident with the sign may be enough to push a careless driving infraction to a reckless driving infraction. Reckless driving violations are considerably more serious than careless driving charges and, depending on state and local regulations, may result in license revocation or a mandated trip to traffic school.

Hit and Run
A driver that leaves the scene of an accident without attempting to contact police may be charged with a hit and run in addition to the careless or reckless driving charges that stem from hitting the sign. Drivers who hit a traffic or construction sign must immediately notify police before leaving the scene of the accident. In remote spots, areas without cellular reception or on poorly traveled roads, drivers may leave the scene of the accident to contact police but must notify authorities immediately upon arriving in a place that allows for phone calls to traffic authorities.

Extenuating Circumstances
Additional circumstances may lessen or increase the charges involved with hitting a traffic sign. Drivers whose brakes or steering malfunction and cause the accident may receive a faulty or defective vehicle citation rather than a careless driving infraction, and if the accident was the result of weather conditions, some states issue citations for driving too fast for conditions rather than careless driving.[/box]