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22% Of Motorists Unable to Properly Identify Traffic Signs

Posted in Newsworthy, Roads, Traffic, Travel by Suzanne Denbow | October 6th, 2008 | 1 Response |

International Traffic Signs — Image by © John Connell/Corbis

A poll of 2,000 motorists conducted by European motor authority, AA Driving School, revealed that a startling percentage of drivers can’t properly identify what some traffic signs mean. According to the results, 3 in 5 drivers were unable to properly identify the sign for a bicycle route, more than 2 in 5 failed to recognize an “Uneven Road Ahead” sign, and 22% were baffled by a sign indicating a bridge ahead.

Overall, the test asked motorists to identify a total of 7 traffic signs, which 93% of participants were able to do correctly. Despite the overwhelming majority demonstrating an acceptable knowledge of roadway signage, AA Driving School director Simon Douglas was not satisfied. “The road signs we selected for this test are all common on British roads,” Douglas explained, “so it’s worrying that so many motorists don’t fully understand their meaning.”

Prior to 1996, Highway Code identification was one of the primary abilities assessed on the British licensing exam. In 1996, a “driving theory” part was introduced to accompany the Highway Code segment, and was intended to gauge a driver’s ability to make sound judgement in various traffic situations. When polled, it was found that drivers who had taken the exam prior to 1996 were largely more successful in correctly identifying traffic signs, whereas drivers who had taken the exam after the addition of theory portion, were not. While Douglas acknowledges that sound judgement is an integral part of operating a vehicle on roadways safely, he maintains that a firm understanding of the Highway Code is ultimately more important. Said Douglas, “While strong intuition and an awareness of your surroundings are valuable skills to have when driving, there is no substitute for a sound knowledge of the Highway Code and drivers who don’t know what these important signs mean may be putting lives at risk, including their own.”

[News Source: Swansea.co.uk]

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  1. Sofar says:

    I’ve got an /excellent/ idea that should solve this problem. Put words on the signs, explaining what the pictures mean. Better yet, omit the pictures entirely so you can paint the words bigger.