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What are the Most Commonly Misunderstood Road Signs and their Meanings?

How well do YOU know your highway code? Driving in the UK is relatively safe, yet the nation still saw 171,000 accidents in 2017. And while the causes of these accidents vary, Click4reg thought that a major reason could be a lack of understanding of road and traffic signs. In this post, we’ll gloss over the most commonly misunderstood road signs and their meanings, using a survey we recently conducted.


Road signs and their meanings - the investigation

Following research and consideration of Click4reg customer queries, our survey was narrowed down to 12 common UK road signs. We asked respondents to choose what they thought were the correct meanings of each sign, and the results are in!

the survey we conducted, showing the most commonly misunderstood road signs and their meanings

Which signs stumped drivers the most?

The road sign the fewest drivers could name is ‘with-flow bus and cycle lane’ - only 21% (256) of respondents could correctly identify this road sign.

The second worst most unknown road sign, with only 28% (342) correctly guessing it, was ‘with-flow bus lane ahead which pedal cycles and taxis may also use’. 

Third place is taken by the ‘minimum speed’ road sign with 366 (30%) people correctly identifying, however the most shocking result found was that of the commonplace ‘no entry’ sign. A staggering 62% of respondents (756 active drivers) didn’t know what this road sign meaning was!


Which signs were drivers the most confident of?

The sign with the highest number of correct answers is ‘side winds’ – 93% (1,135) of the drivers asked knew this road traffic sign meaning. The next well-known road sign is ‘keep left’, as 75% (915) people correctly identified it.

And while third and fourth best in our quiz, it’s shocking to discover that the common ‘no stopping’ and ‘no waiting’ fooled 41% and 42% of respondents respectively. Take a look at the quiz above for the other road signs and meanings, and why not test yourself!


How to improve your understanding of road signs and what they mean

How did you do on the 12 road signs and their meanings? If not so well, there’s no need to panic. There are plenty of ways to get back in the know. For as Ben Leonard, Click4reg’s partner says:

“We think UK drivers would benefit greatly from refreshing their knowledge of the Highway Code every five to 10 years.

Not only that, introducing a knowledge of the rules of the road from an early age would help many future drivers to ensure their safety and that of others.”


Or if you’re worried your lack of knowledge could contribute to traffic accidents, making yourself more obvious to other road users could help to combat that. A personalised number plate just might do the trick.


Feature Image Credit: ar-images/

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