10 Most Common Road Signs & Their Meanings

Posted by on November 19, 2019 in Stuff with 0 Comments

Road signs are vital to everyone who travels along our streets and highways. As a driver, you must take every precaution and follow the rules of the road. Traffic control equipment serves as an important tool for keeping everyone on our roads safe.

Roadside signage helps to prevent people from committing dangerous errors, avoid existing hazards, and remain current on local laws and regulations. When you are driving, you should always be on the lookout for traffic signs, and of course, you must follow the commands that they indicate. In addition, you should familiarize yourself with all of the road signs before you take a vehicle on the road.

Road Sign Categories

Traffic signage comes in a variety of groups. Among the most common traffic guideposts are regulatory signs, which specify the laws that drivers need to know. Warning signage indicates potential hazards, and advisory signs generally dictate speed limits. Crossing signs and road work signs may also be regarded as warning signs.

10 Most Common Road Signs

You will see some signage more than others. It makes sense that the most common road signs are the ones that address the most common conditions that drivers are apt to face. The following are 10 signposts you are likely to see as you navigate the roads.

  1. Stop: The stop sign may be one of the most recognizable of all the traffic signs in the U.S. This red octagonal guidepost contains white lettering that forms the word “STOP.” It is the only U.S. road sign with this shape. It also has a narrow outline in white. This regulatory sign is crucial because it prevents motorists from heading into oncoming traffic.
  2. Yield: This is another sign that you may see often. Like the stop sign, the yield sign is a vital regulatory sign. It is shaped like an upside-down triangle, with a narrow white outline, a small, white, upside-down triangle bordered by a larger, red, upside-down triangle, and the word “YIELD” written in red in the center. This sign may warn you to yield to pedestrians, and it may also appear as a warning to yield to other motorists.
  3. Pedestrian Crossing: This is a warning sign that indicates pedestrians may be crossing the street in front of you. The pedestrian crossing sign may be accompanied by a yield sign. This warning sign comes in the shape of a diamond. It may have a yellow or fluorescent yellow background, and in the center is a black silhouette of a person walking.
  4. Speed Limit: These signs are regulatory signs. A speed limit sign is displayed in the form of a rectangle, and the sign is black and white. The number on the sign indicates the maximum speed at which you can legally drive on a road. The words “SPEED LIMIT” can often be found on such signs, but they are not always present on them. The speed limit number might be enclosed by a circle, and other relevant words may be displayed on these signs. You might also see a speed limit sign that says “MINIMUM SPEED,” which means that the number on the sign is the minimum speed at which motorists must drive.
  5. Emergency Vehicle Warning: These warning signs come in a diamond shape. You may not see these as often as the other common road signs, but emergency vehicle warning signs are critical to the safety and well-being of the community at large. These signs come in a diamond shape, and they have black lettering. If you see one of these signs with no writing, but with an image of a black truck with a long bed, this is an indication that a fire station is nearby. When you see one of these signposts, be aware that an emergency vehicle may be in the area at any time. You must always yield to emergency vehicles.
  6. Keep Right: Another common sign is the one that tells drivers to keep to the right. You will see this regulatory sign when a road narrows as a result of an obstruction such as a divider. The sign is a warning that the path in the roadway ahead of you is about to change. This sign is rectangular in shape, and it has a white background with a narrow black border. The images on the sign are black. You will see a black arrow that curves right and then forward, and to its left will be an image that looks like the bottom tip of a center island.
  7. Deer Crossing: The deer crossing signpost is a crossing sign. It is meant to convey the message that it is not unusual for deer to cross the road in that area. Drive with extra precaution when you drive past a deer crossing sign. This sign comes in a diamond shape, and it has a yellow background. In the center is a black silhouette of a leaping deer.
  8. Road Work: Road work signs tell you that you are entering an area where road work is being conducted. These warning signs are diamond-shaped, and they have an orange background. They may display words or images in black. You might see a black silhouette of a person holding out a warning flag, which indicates that flaggers may be found ahead on the road. Another common image is a black silhouette of a person digging with a shovel.

Alternatively, you might see phrases in black lettering, such as “FRESH OIL” or “UTILITY WORK AHEAD.” Pay attention to these signs; when you see them, you should always proceed with caution.

  1. No U-turn: This turn sign conveys the warning that U-turns are prohibited. You might see variations of this particular turn sign, but they should all contain an arrow going in the direction of a U-turn, and they should all include a red circle around the image of the U-turn arrow, with a red slash going through the center image. These signs are square, with a white background and a narrow black border.
  2. No Bicycle: This is an exclusionary sign, and it means that no bicycles are permitted on the roadway or in the facility that lies beyond the sign. The no bicycle sign is square, with a narrow black border and white background. A black silhouette of a bicycle may be displayed in the center. A red circle surrounds the bicycle, with a red slash extending through the circle. You might also see these signs with only words, which will indicate that bicycles are prohibited.

Final Thoughts

By studying all of the road signs you may encounter, you can help yourself to become a safer and more reliable driver. These signs are in place to ensure that motorists are aware of local driving laws, as well as consistent and changing road conditions. You should learn about the traffic signs for any area in which you intend to drive. The more familiar that you are with the shapes, colors, categories, and messages of this essential signage, the better you will be at navigating the roads. Always heed the messages depicted in these signs, so you and those around you may remain as safe as possible.

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