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Road Signs, what do they mean?

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Tuesday, 20 September 2016 GMT

Author: Staveley Head

According to research carried out by Kwik Fit the average UK driver only knows the meaning of 79% of road signs. The most worrying thing about this is that 2 in 5 drivers have run into trouble because of their lack of knowledge.


Surprisingly it’s not just hazard signs that caused issues but speed limits too! Apparently 16% of drivers break the speed limit due to misunderstanding the signs.


Despite the outcome of Kwik Fit’s research, the UK is still within the top 10 safest places to drive, that’s according to the Telegraph. Beating the UK are the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark which are fourth, fifth and sixth. Perhaps taking some tips from these countries may help better educate UK road users.

What’s the solution?

While many of the UK’s adults believe people should periodically retake their test there may be another solution. Rather than focusing on the practical test why not make drivers retake their theory every few years, after all the issue is with reading the road. New road laws are introduced and new signs are created every year, maybe it’s time to consider this.

Another option could be to look at the existing theory and driving test. Maybe taking inspiration from countries with the toughest driving test would be a good start:

  • In Finland it takes 2 years to get a full driving license. Before you can pass you must spend at least 18 hours driving and master driving at night.
  • There are three tests motorists in Costa Rica must pass – the theory, practical and medical.
  • Brazil – here you must learn how to tackle carjacking and defensive driving techniques before you can get your full driving license.

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