I have something new to add to my list of slightly irrational fears, falling highways signs. Who would ever guess the green, highly reflective signage could be the potential cause of my demise as I mindlessly cruise down the interstate at a speed that would be the comment section’s first topic of discussion on my obituary post.
The pole suspending a highway sign over the road surface collapsed on U.S. Highway 75 in Allen, Texas, north of Dallas. Without any apparent external factors, the pole just detached from the base and came crashing down on the northbound lanes. All but one lane was blocked as a maintenance crew from the Texas Department of Transportation removed the debris.
TxDOT told CBS 11, “We have removed the sign and our experts will be thoroughly checking all of the structure components to determine the exact cause, which could take some time. Safety is our number one priority and as a precaution we will also check other similar structures in the area for any potential issues.” It’s exceedingly rare that a highway sign would just fall on its own. But if it happens once, it could happen again.
Though, it’s not uncommon for highway signs to fall into the path of traffic. It’s usually the result of a driver losing control of their vehicle and striking the post or a construction accident. Last September, on I-10 in New Orleans, a dump truck hit a support frame and caused a sign to fall into the path of another vehicle. Last April on Queen Elizabeth Way in Ontario, Canada, an excavator hit a frame, and the falling sign killed a passing driver.
At least I know that if a highway sign kills me, I’ll die with the comfort that I never held up traffic in the left lane.