Are you confused by traffic signs?

School patrol roadsign, day.

Published 20 February 2023
Last updated 20 October 2023

In this blog we'll explore how to build your knowledge of traffic signs. We'll also signpost you to some great resources to help you prepare for your theory test.

Some of you might have clicked on this post in wry amusement. I mean, traffic signs – just how confusing can they be?

Well…quite confusing as it turns out. In the dim and distant past (OK, 2021!), we published a blog that explored this topic. But guess what? The problems haven’t gone away. Even a super-quick skim of the internet reveals that traffic signs still provoke heaps of motorist misery.

The importance of knowing your traffic signs

So, let’s just remind ourselves why it’s important to know your traffic signs.

Take a look at this. What do you think it means?

Minimum Speed Limit Sign.png

Any ideas? Well, if you think it has something to do with speed, then congratulations. However, if you think that it refers to a maximum speed limit, you’re wrong. This is, in fact, its cousin, the minimum speed limit sign. You won’t see many of these on our roads, but you will find them in areas of heavy congestion where vehicles are at a high risk of collision. In this case, the sign says that you must not drive any slower than 50 miles per hour, but like maximum speed limit signs, that can change depending on the local road conditions.

Now imagine that you spot one of these signs and assume that 50 is as fast as you can go. You might get lucky, but do you want to end up in a risky situation because you don’t know what you’re looking at?

Before we move on, let’s remind ourselves of a maximum speed limit sign:

40 mph.png

Signs of Learning

If you’re learning to drive, you need to know your traffic signs. The theory test has questions that will be difficult to answer without this knowledge. In the same way, if you’re an experienced driver, it’s well worth taking the time to brush up on your skills. Road signs change all the time and there’s no guarantee that you’ll recognise everything – no matter how long you’ve been driving.

Sign Language

The best way to improve your knowledge of traffic signs is to use Know Your Traffic Signs and The Highway Code. You can also have a crack at our free road signs quiz. And if you’re a learner driver, be sure to check out the road signs information in the Official DVSA Theory Test for Car Drivers and the theory test practice quizzes.

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