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UK drivers don’t understand 20 per cent of road signs, survey finds

Thursday 11 August 2016, By AutoVolo

UK drivers don’t understand 20 per cent of road signs, survey finds

UK drivers don’t understand 20 per cent of road signs, survey finds

Motorists in the UK don’t understand one in every five road signs, research from vehicle repair firm Kwik Fit has revealed.

Two thousand British adults were surveyed by the company in July 2016, with the average driver only understanding 79 per cent of road signs.

The participants were asked to identify a number of key road signs and markings, with certain signs in particular leaving the study subjects scratching their heads. As an example, only 29 per cent of respondents were able to identify the circular white sign with a red border, which means ‘no vehicles except pedal cycles being pushed by hand’.

The broken central white line – which indicates an upcoming hazard – was only correctly identified by 10 per cent of respondents. Staggeringly, 66 per cent thought this marking meant road conditions were normal.

More common signs tripped some drivers up as well – with only 80 per cent of participants being able to identify the ‘national speed limit applies’ sign, which features a white circle with a black diagonal line. Seven per cent of respondents thought it meant no speed restrictions applied, while four per cent thought it signified a 70mph limit.

Minimum speed limit signs confused motorists as well, with 75 per cent not knowing the meaning of a blue circular sign with a white ‘30’ and a red diagonal line. Only 25 per cent correctly identified the sign as symbolising the ‘end of 30mph minimum speed limit’.

These misunderstandings lead to a number of mistakes on the road – with 16 per cent admitting to breaking speed limits as a result of not comprehending the signs. Fifteen per cent also admitted to having to brake heavily after not recognizing a sign  or road marking.

Roughly seven out of ten (68 percent) survey participants believed drivers should have to retake their theory and hazard perception tests, with 15 years being the average suggested gap.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “The findings show that although many of us think we are good drivers, we are ready to accept that we don’t know the meanings of all road signs. Our research showed some surprising results, and indicated that there are some clear instructions and safety warnings which drivers are not picking up on when out on the road.

“While people can’t be expected to voluntarily retake their test, it would be a good idea for even those of us who have been driving a long time to make sure we really do know the correct meaning of road signs and markings.”