It is very common to see new drivers (and sadly many drivers with years behind the wheel) showing clear issues to scan the road properly. The reason is because they experience what is called “tunnel vision”, therefore, no matter how clear traffic signs can be posted these drivers tend to look straight down into oblivion. When teaching how to drive we often ask our students the meaning of the last sign we went through and it is normal for them to turn the question into a guessing game.
Florida Statutes 316.183(2) says that “the maximum speed limits for all vehicles must be 30 miles per hour in business or residence districts” mostly because there is one lane moving on each direction and there is no physical divider or median in such areas. Repeating the same question over and over again, help new drivers to create the habit to keep their eyes moving and scanning at all times.
Without forcing the habit to scan the road side to side continuously, most of the new drivers can be easily confused when they face areas with variable speeds, especially in driving in areas where they are not familiar.
We believe some speed limit signs are wrong in some areas, for example, where the road is open and wide with a median (which is a clear difference when it is compared to any residential area) having a 30 mph sign where it could easily be 40 mph.
In these places the local authorities should make the road continuously higher than 30 mph, and avoid putting variable speed limits for such short distances. Surely, that is making some drivers entering a potential accident zone. It would be nice that our signs are put in place by road engineers and getting some advice from driver education institutions.
There are some really good signs preparing you to reduce speed and these are signs alerting you of a 30 mph to be reduced to 25 or 20 mph. They prepare you to slow down and their are eye-catching with the yellow background color.
The solar powered speed warning signs are becoming more common in metropolitan areas in the USA, they are very effective indeed because of the flashing mode feature to show your speed, and this can just make you ease off the gas if you have just brushed over the limit by mistake.
Until everything is designed better, keep your eyes moving constantly. Better safe than sorry.