Do you know your traffic signs?
If you are preparing for your first driving test or just studying to get a learner's permit, you know you'll need to pass a written test in addition to the road test you'll use to demonstrate your knowledge behind the wheel. The written test will require you to display your understanding of the many traffic signs. This page is meant to serve as a study guide and a general knowledge exam covering these common signs.
Below are illustrations of frequently seen traffic signs with a brief description of what they mean and what drivers are expected to do when the sign is spotted. After you’ve familiarized yourself with these signs, complete the road sign test at the bottom of the page. The format of the test consists of true/false and multiple-choice options. Run through the 15 questions to see how you might fare on the real test.
Best of luck!
Guide to the Most Common Road Signs
This is often present around work zones and newly-built roads. A sign like this will indicate that a stretch of an upcoming road will narrow, either due to the removal of the "shoulder" of the road, or a gradual merging of the lanes.
Rail Road Crossing
Also referred to as a advanced warning sign, this indicates there are railroad tracks up ahead and the driver should be aware of a possible incoming train.
Sometimes called a give-away sign, a yield sign indicates that you must stop to allow for another vehicle to proceed. This is called giving the other driver the right of way.
Detour signs, most obviously noticed by their bright orange colors, signal that upcoming, expected route is going to change. This is generally due to construction or a car accident.
Hitchhiking is the act of requesting a free ride in a vehicle from a stranger by standing at the edge of a highway. In most countries, the universal sign of requesting such a ride (or hitchhiking) is holding a thumbs-up to passing cars.
This sign prohibits both drivers and riders from engaging in the exchange of offering or soliciting a ride.
Often colored brown to indicate a recreational space, a campground ahead sign announces to drivers that there is a designated area for camping ahead. Generally, this allows for activities such as hiking, sleeping, building a fire, and tent-set up. None of these are guarentees so it's best to speak with a park ranger or police officer before setting up your camp.
A circular intersection indicates that the road will change from a straight path, to a circular loop. Drivers will continue clockwise around a fixed center and exit when their street becomes available.
Stay in the inner lane until the exit for your street becomes the right-most option. This type of intersection is also referred to as a roundabout.
A “No U-turn” sign means it is illegal to reverse the direction you are travel at that intersection, without going down and around a block or two. Generally, these types of signs are posted by stoplights and used to deter drivers from making a loop at the light.
No Parking, Bike Lane
Most lanes on the road are designated for drivers — either to drive, pass, or park. If a lane has this sign, then this lane has been allocated for the sole use of bikers and cyclists. This is to ensure the safety of everyone on the road and prevent instances where a car and a biker might have to share the same stretch of road.
Road Work Ahead
Another sign critical for vehicle and driver safety, a road work sign means drivers must take extra caution when driving through the upcoming area. This is often due to unexpected traffic or construction. A driver must also be on the look out for a highway flagger — a worker who has been hired to conduct traffic through the road work.
State Route Marker
A state route marker denoutes the route number of a highway, usually in the form of a shape that varies upon the state in which the sign resides. More commonly this shape takes the form of a shield.
Two Way Street
Two-way streets signs are used to indicate to drivers passing on a one-lane road that soon, a two-lane road will emerge soon. This will affect their ability to pass other cars because they will now be blocked by uncoming traffic.
A handicap sign by the side of the road signals to drivers that the building is accessible by wheel-chair or supports the needs of people with disabilities.
This sign alerts drivers that deer have been spotted crossing this stretch of road in the past and are likely to do so again. As a driver, it's recommended that you slow down and observe both sides of the road, as deer are quick to move and leap out in front of your car.
Emergency Vehicle Warning
Often seen near firehouses, this bright sign is usually placed around areas of reduced visibility (turns, corners, etc.) to relay precaution to drivers. Firetrucks must be ready to leave in a hurry so these signs are placed to warn other drivers that a large, fast moving vehicle might be up ahead.