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Dangers of Bumper Stickers and Decals

I have three children and seven grandchildren. I worked full time while raising my family. I have been there.

Dangers of Decals

Decals are great. I have used them myself. Even the magnets are colorful and fun. But they can also be dangerous, and they can reduce the value of your vehicle when trading it. Here are some reasons why.

  • How often have you been stopped at a stoplight or stop sign and the car ahead of you has several bumper stickers with various sayings on them? Stickers, decals, and pictures are fun ways to decorate your car, but they can be dangerous in many ways. This doesn't mean that the majority of drivers on the roads today will attempt dangerous driving to read a sticker, however, it only takes that one person to make the roads unsafe for many people.
  • Controversial subjects may cause road rage when other drivers become angered or offended by the subject on your decals or stickers. Do you have the right to put whatever you want on your vehicle? ABSOLUTELY! But common sense suggests that we be a bit careful about what we put on our vehicles especially since our families will be riding in them as well as ourselves.
  • If you are planning on trading in your vehicle and wish for a high return, do not put decals or stickers anywhere on your vehicle because this detracts from the value of the vehicle. However, if you chose to put these things on your vehicle, please use common sense so that you and your family remain safe. There are so many ways we can be involved in an accident or cause road rage that we don't really need to add fuel to the fire.
  • A few simple suggestions below can help, however, it is ultimately your choice, your vehicle, and your safety (as well as the safety of anyone in the vehicle with you), so the decision is yours.

Tiny Words

When there is a lot of small writing on a sticker or decal, drivers become curious about what the writing says and they try to get close enough to read it. You, as a driver, most likely do not even remember that the small writing exists and can't understand why the other driver is so erratic in his/her behavior. As drivers go to extremes to read the item on the vehicle, the attempts become dangerous and many times will cause an accident. If you are going to decorate your vehicle with stickers, etc., please make sure that it is a quick message in large letters that can be easily read at a stop sign or light. This reduces the dangers of drivers attempting to 'read' the saying as you are driving along.

Small Stickers or Decals

The same rule of thumb follows for tiny or small stickers or decals. Because the item is small, drivers can't read it quickly and often try outrageous maneuvers to get close enough to read it. I have heard horror stories of people being pinned in parking lots so the person following them could read a sticker or decal on their vehicle. Other stories include accidents caused by unsafe attempts to read the decal.

This doesn't mean that most people will see your sticker and cause an accident as they try to read it. But just like driving in the snow, there is always that one guy or gal that causes trouble. I, for one, would not like my family put in jeopardy because of a sticker.

Aren't These Guys Cute

Aren't these guys cute?  But having the picture on your window means the people beside or behind you can't make out what it is.

Aren't these guys cute? But having the picture on your window means the people beside or behind you can't make out what it is.

Photos On The Windows

Photos are great to help you remember a moment in time. They are also difficult to see from a distance. Keeping photos in your car is great, but seriously consider if putting them on the window for everyone to see might be dangerous.

Stick Family

You know those little stick figures that show Mom, Dad, three kids, a dog and a cat. They tell any would-be predator exactly who and what is in your family. They can use that information just as if they had your address, phone number, or social security number. You are basically telling the predator that you have two girls, a boy, and a man and woman of the house. They scout the house, count who leaves, and know exactly who is left. You wouldn't put your address, phone number, or your social security number on your vehicle, would you? I wouldn't put those on my vehicle, nor would I put up the little stick figures showing my family. They were a cool idea, but our world has become a dangerous place because of predators and the stickers help them, not you.

Mother-Father-Little Boy-Little Girl


So Many Signs

There are so many signs out there for drivers to have to see, read, and understand in a matter of seconds. That means decals and stickers on cars, even if they are pretty or colorful. Even the Department of Transportation has made signs that show in one picture the hazard that is approaching with little or no words. Please, if you want a sticker or decal on your car, make it big, short, and easy to understand with very little reading. Some examples of the signs that drivers have to read:

  • Open
  • One way
  • Stop
  • Car Wash
  • Vote For Us
  • Now Hiring
  • Help Wanted
  • Sale
  • No Right Turn
  • No Left Turn
  • No Turn on Red
  • Bus Stop
  • Pedestrian Walk Way
  • Enter
  • Exit
  • Business Names

Decorating Vehicles

We all do it, but that doesn't mean we should. Keep in mind the safety of your family and innocent lives on the road. It is easy to lay blame when we are in an accident but was it bad driving, or a sticker. So maybe these steps can help avoid the accidents altogether.

  • Use stickers that can be easily seen.
  • Keep the message short.
  • Make sure the stickers don't block your line of sight.

Another Sign to Read.


This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2011 Cheryl Simonds

Tell Me What You Think

Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on July 21, 2018:

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Kindle reader, I do not have those statistics, I do know that over 90% of the population takes the time, while driving, to try to read the small stickers on bumpers of vehicles. I hope this practice stops quickly.

Kindle reader on July 12, 2018:

Do you know the statistics on negative results of fleet cars with the bumper sticker: this car is being gps monitored for speed safety

Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on December 03, 2011:

Thank you, weestro, I hate those kind as well, who do they think they are.....

Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on December 03, 2011:

stephaniedas, I like your title "Highway Clutter" very apt name, and yes stickers and signs can be offensive or arrogant.

Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on December 03, 2011:

Chaplin Speaks, thanks for the vote. I see those stick people and I cringe thinking how they have made themselves vunerable.

Pete Fanning from Virginia on December 02, 2011:

Very interesting hub. I hate the bumper stickers that tell you what to do or think!

Stephanie Das from Miami, US on December 01, 2011:

Nice job. I call it "Highway clutter"-- road signs, ads, mcdonals Ms...they all distract you while driving. I hate it. Also, a few times I've felt a bit offended by bumper stickers. I think it's a little arrogant sometimes.

Sarah Johnson from Charleston, South Carolina on December 01, 2011:

Great Hub. My father once had a political bumper sticker and someone egged it. I agree with what you said about the stick people - same goes for initials and names they add as well. Voted Up!

Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on December 01, 2011:

thank you so much for the vote, carcro, they do indeed get your mind off your driving.

Paul Cronin from Winnipeg on December 01, 2011:

Great hub Cherylone, I have never liked bumper stickers and would never put one on my car. Like you say, they can be a real hazard as they get your mind off your driving. Thanks for the info, Voted up!

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