Road Sign Basics

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in Defensive Driving Online

Road signs are there for your safety and protection—listen to what they have to tell you! Road signs are designed to be self-explanatory and easy to follow; however, they can sometimes be confusing.  Of course, road signs don’t work if you don’t see them. As you drive, make sure that you keep scanning above and to the side of the road in order to spot all relevant signs and lights. For new drivers (and as a refresher for older ones), I’ll present a brief summary of the most common kinds of lights and signs.

STOP LIGHTS

*Red lights—whether they are blinking, solid, or an arrow—always mean stop. “Stop” means come to a full stop. If the red light is blinking, treat it as a stop sign.

*Yellow lights mean slow down. Unless you are already in the intersection when the light turns, begin slowing down in order to come to a full stop at the stop line or crosswalk.

*Green lights mean go as soon as the intersection is clear. If there are slow pedestrians, bikers, or other cars still in the intersection, you need to wait until they have moved on.

Now, on to signs.

REGULATORY SIGNS

These signs tell you what you must or must not do on the road. Stop signs, yield signs, one-way signs and do not enter signs all fall into this category.

When you see a stop sign, you need to come to a full stop BEFORE the stop sign. If you come to a full stop and then realize that you can’t see into the intersection, you can pull forward a bit to check for traffic.

Yield signs are another common kind of regulatory sign. Yield signs are triangular, with a red rim and white background. When you see a yield sign, slow down so that you can stop if you need to. Allow other cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians to pass before you proceed.

WARNING SIGNS

These signs, which always have a yellow background, are designed to warn drivers about upcoming obstacles. Most of these signs are diamond shape, except for the sign which indicates a railroad crossing; this is the only round sign in use!

GUIDE SIGNS

These signs indicate the route, highway, or street that you are traveling on. These signs are often, but not always, green.

MOTORIST SERVICE SIGNS

Frequently, blue in color, these signs let you know what services (food, gas, lodging, etc.) are available on the route that you’re traveling;.

CONSTRUCTION SIGNS

Constructions signs are always orange diamonds. They let you know about any approaching construction hazards.

RECREATION AND CULTURAL INTEREST SIGNS

These signs are always brown. They contain information about interesting sights near the route you are traveling on, including places like national parks, museums, and monuments.

If you’d like a very thorough review of traffic signs, check out Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD):

http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/

 To read more on a broad range of subjects from “How To Change A Tire” to “How To Jumpstart Your Car”, visit DefensiveDriving.com’s Safe Driver Resources website!

 

Visit our state-specific sites for more information about online defensive driving in Texas, California, Florida, and New Jersey.

|

Customer Reviews

Defensivedriving.com has a ShopperApproved rating of 4.7 based on 81047 ratings and reviews.

Mike TX, United States
Easy to do
David TX, United States
Video options save a lot of time
Caleb
Over all it’s been very easy to deal with. So thanks
Fernando
sign up process is quick and simple!
Erica
Easy so far. I like the options
James
Easy and fast to sign up for.
hunter
easy set up
Octavio TX, United States
I enjoyed the intuitive ease of use.
Brooke
Easy to use
Laura
Simple and convenient.
Maria
user friendly
James
Easy website use
CLAIRE
Quick and to the point!
jaiden
quick and easy
Derek TX, United States
simple and fast
Aaron TX, United States
Two thumbs up!!!
Hope United States
Easy process
Jere
Great
Lindsay
easy and self explanatory
Francisco
best price
Garrett
Clear and simple explanations of the differences between the video and text course. Quick and straightforward registration and payment process.
Crystal
Very clear and easy to follow
Allyson
Quick and easy registration
James
quick
Nicholas
Awesome!
Ty
Very Easy to Register
John United States
It's a good resource
Haley TX, United States
It was simple, and easy to get my ticket from going on my record!
Bonnita United States
Great website
Baylee TX, United States
It's easy and self-explanatory
Timothy
Very Good!!
stephen
Easy to find and to work with. Site is very good.
Amanda
Easy to use
johnny
very professional
Allen
easy and fast
Michelle
Wonderful course
Baleigh TX, United States
very quick and easy to start the process and love the fact that you can complete at anytime on a desktop, or mobile device.
Rolando
really fast and smooth. love it
See all reviews on shopperApproved.com
Why DefensiveDriving.com
  • 20 Years in Business
  • Over 2 Million Customers Served
  • Highest Possible Better Business Bureau Rating
  • Award Winning Course