Whether driving across the country or just into town for a few essentials, you have probably seen homemade shrines placed at random points along the road. These homemade shrines are popularly called roadside memorials because they are created to memorialize victims of car accidents, car crashes, or other fatal incidents on the road. Designing a roadside memorial can be difficult, especially if the loss is new or particularly painful. With our help, some time, and the assistance of friends or family members, you can create a one-of-a-kind memorial that commemorates your loved one and warns other motorists on the road to slow down.

Ideas for Roadside Memorials

Roadside memorials provide a wonderful way to memorialize a loved one who died in a tragic car accident, especially if the crash or collision took place on a dangerous stretch of the road. Building a memorial for your loved one will take some time and planning in advance. If your loved one was religious or spiritual, you might consider a Christian cross, the Star of David, or some other symbol that represents his or her faith. If your loved one appreciated nature, flowers can be made in a wide variety of designs: wreaths, hearts, bows, and much more. Some people make shrines out of objects that held special significance to the deceased, such as bicycles, stuffed animals, and other mementos.

Laws of Roadside Memorials

Although these memorials seem harmless and well-intentioned, some states have passed various laws in an effort to prohibit them altogether. Lawyers and government bureaucrats argue that roadside shrines are distracting to drivers and other motorists on the road. Furthermore, many makeshift memorials feature religious imagery or messages that may infringe on the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. People also claim that the personal purpose of building a shrine on public property is unlawful. Colorado and Wyoming have standardized roadside shrines, whilst Virginia and other states require residents to obtain single-use permits before they can build roadside shrines.

Many people will continue to memorialize their loved ones along the roadway regardless of legislation. If you decide to build a roadside grave for your loved one, take the safety of other motorists into consideration before building the shrine with heavy or dangerous objects. A driver could lose control of a car or motorcycle and crash into the display, resulting in serious injury or even death. Roadside memorials aren’t meant to serve as distractions to others. Rather, they are meant to memorialize lives that were taken too soon, providing a place of visitation for family members and friends of the deceased. We hope that this article has taught you much more about roadside memorials.