Most motorists don’t even know what the national speed limit symbol is… so how will you get on?
- Survey by car insurers More Than found widespread ignorance of signs
- Of 2,000 drivers quizzed, many did not understand safety warnings
- Many also didn’t know speed limits – and ignored them when they did
Test yourself with our road sign quiz below.
One in three drivers is so clueless when it comes to road signs that they cannot even recognise the symbol for the national speed limit, a survey claims.
A quarter of us are also unaware that blue motorway signs also explain the speed limit, while one in seven motorists mistakenly thought that ‘slippery road’ warning sign meant that the road had been freshly painted.
Eight per cent of drivers admitted they were baffled by the common ‘road narrowing’ sign, while almost a fifth said they did not know that when driving in a built-up area the speed limit is 30mph unless signs say otherwise.
TEST YOURSELF: THE PANEL BELOW SHOWS TEN ROAD SIGNS – BUT CAN YOU TELL WHAT THEY MEAN? (SCROLL DOWN FOR THE ANSWERS)
The scale of ignorance was revealed in a survey of 2,000 drivers by car insurers More Than. The results also found that a ‘worrying’ proportion of drivers regularly ignore speed limits and drive as fast as they want to.
More than a third (36 per cent) said they disregard 30mph limits, travelling at an avergae of 38mph, while 32 per cent said they break 47mph limits, going 47mph on average instead.
On motorways, even more people admitted to ignoring the law, with 43 per cent breaking the 70mph in favour of an average speed of 81mph.
More Than spokesman Janet Connor said: ‘This research shows there’s a worrying number of drivers for whom speeding is an acceptable everyday behaviour.
‘Couple this with a shocking ignorance when it comes to the most common road signs, and you’ve got a recipe for road disaster.’
The large-scale confusion over road signs comes weeks after Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin called for hundreds of thousands of ‘pointless’ signs to be torn down.
‘Over the past two decades we’ve seen a huge rise in the number of unnecessary signs blotting the landscapes of our towns and cities’, he said.
‘Many of the signs that go up are simply not needed and it has got to stop. As well as spoiling otherwise beautiful areas of the country, pointless signs just confuse drivers and make the roads less safe.’
A spokesman for road safety charity Brake said: ‘The research suggests a significant proportion of drivers seem to think it is okay to break the laws of the road.
‘It can never be acceptable and we urge all drivers to respect road safety laws and recognise that such laws exist to help save lives.’
James Barter, from Southampton, Hants, admits struggling to identify some of the road signs – despite passing his test ten years ago.
The 28-year-old said: ‘I passed my driving test when I was 18 and I still struggle to tell what certain signs mean.
‘There are so many and some of the signs are not very clear or obvious.’
- Cycle route ahead
- Road narrowing
- Slippery road
- Dual carriageway ends
- Uneven road
- T-junction with priority over vehicles from the left
- Tram crossing ahead
- National speed limit
- Start of motorway
- Diversion route for motorway traffic