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Learning About Traffic Signs for Road Safety

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Learning Traffic Signs for Road Safety



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Although we tend to overlook their importance, traffic signs are one of the keys to maintaining safe highways all over the country and staying safe on the road. While most of the common road signs are already familiar to you, there are some that we many do not encounter as often, and their meanings may even slip our minds from time to time. It can never hurt to have a quick refresher course on what some of these signs are, because as they say, it's better to be safe than sorry!

Here is a list to help you learn traffic signs that are vital for road safety:

4-WAY

A 4-Wt stop is approaching, use caution and come to complete stop before proceeding. Also, follow all rules of a 4-way intersection with stop signs.

YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS

This sign is used to signal that pedestrian foot traffic has the right of way and that you must yield to any pedestrians at a crosswalk of intersection before proceeding.

NO LEFT TURNS OR U-TURNS

This sign is used to warn drivers that all left turns and U-turns are prohibited at a given intersection or traffic light and that drivers may not make any left or U-turns.

KEEP RIGHT

This sign directs drivers to keep to the right and is usually placed at a point where the roadway gets divided by a median or roadway divider where all traffic must stay to the right. It is also common when exiting or entering a roadway from a parking lot.

YIELD TO TRAFFIC BEFORE PROCEEDING

Used as a way for making sure drivers yield to the flow of traffic before entering or exiting a highway, when navigating a traffic circle, or when merging into another lane on a highway.

STRAIGHT OR LEFT-HAND TURN ONLY

This sign tells drivers that the lane they are in at an intersection or traffic light is for left-hand turns and through traffic only and that right turns are not allowed.

STRAIGHT OR RIGHT-HAND TURN ONLY

This sign tells drivers that the land they are in at an intersection or traffic light is for right-hand turns and through traffic only and that left turns may not be made from that lane.

CURVE AHEAD

This sign warns drivers that the road ahead curves to the left and to lower your speed and proceed with caution.

SHARP LEFT TURN AHEAD

On a road where visibility may be reduced, this sign lets drivers know that a sharp left turn is coming up, to provide enough time for the driver to slow down and prepare for the turn.

WINDING ROAD

This sign is utilized to warn drivers that the road they are navigating is windy and contains a lot of sharp curves that can be dangerous under bad conditions and high speeds. The sign warns drivers to reduce their speed and drive with caution.

HAIRPIN TURN AHEAD

A hairpin turn is one that requires the driver to turn around in almost a full 180 degrees. This sign lets drivers know that a hairpin turn is ahead, allowing the driver to reduce speed and prepare to make the turn.

TRAFFIC CIRCLE AHEAD

Traffic circles are often used in place of intersections or traffic lights on many highways, and this sign indicates that a traffic circle is ahead and signals for drivers to follow all rules of a traffic circle, including being aware of merging traffic.

FOUR-WAY INTERSECTION HEAD

This sign notifies drivers that a four-way intersection is ahead. It differs from a four-way stop ahead sign in that the intersection that is coming up does not contain a stop sign in your direction. However, drivers should still proceed with caution and be aware of traffic.

STOP SIGN AHEAD

On roads with decreased visibility or roads that have a lot of curves, bends, or hills, this warns drivers that a stop sign is ahead, providing them with enough time to reduce their speed and prepare to stop.

YIELD AHEAD

Also for roads with decreased visibility or roads with a lot of curves, bends, or hills, this sign is designed to let drivers know that the road is going to be merging with another road shortly, and that drivers should be prepared to yield to the flow of traffic.

TRAFFIC LIGHT AHEAD

Usually placed at a spot on the roadway where the next traffic light is not visible due to a hill or sharp curve in the road, this sign warms drivers that a traffic signal is ahead and to proceed with caution and reduce speed in preparation of a possible red light.

REDUCED SPEED AHEAD

In advance of a stretch of highway where the speed limit is going to be reduced, this sign is usually placed to warn drivers of this speed limit reduction so they can be aware of the change and adjust their speed accordingly.

LANE ENDS

This sign notifies drivers that the right lane will be ending ahead, and that all drivers in the right lane must merge left into the flow of traffic in the left lane. The sign is usually placed on roadways where three lanes become two lanes or when a two-lane road becomes a single lane road.

MERGE LEFT

To signal to drivers that a lane merge is approaching and that they will be required to merge to their left, this sign will often be placed before the lane merge occurs, which is before the right lane ends, or as drivers are entering a roadway in an entrance lane.

DIVIDED HIGHWAY

This sign indicates that the roadway will become a divided roadway up a head, with separated traffic moving in opposite directions on each side. This sign warns the driver that the roadway will be splitting, and that traffic must stay to the right.

HILL

This sign is often placed before a downhill stretch of roadway that has a particularly high grade of elevation, to warn the driver that there is a hill ahead and to proceed with caution and reduce speed while going downhill.

ROADWAY SLIPPERY WHEN WET

Some roadways become especially slippery and treacherous during and immediately after rainstorms or during the winters when the roads contain snow and ice, this sign warns drivers that the road can be slippery under certain weather conditions and to protected with extreme caution and reduce speed.

RAILROAD CROSSING AHEAD

This sign is used to warn drivers of a railroad crossing ahead. While most railroad crossings will have flashing lights, bells, and a retractable arm that comes down to block the road off when a train is coming, this sign serves as a preliminary warning that tracks are ahead and that the driver should be aware of any train crossings.

BICYCLE CROSSING

Placed at intersections and portions of roadway that are bisected by bicycle paths or trails, this sign lets drivers know that bicyclists frequent the area and to stay vigilant of any bicycles that are crossing the road at all times.

PEDESTRIAN CROSSING

If you wish to learn traffic signs, you simply can't miss out this one. It ensures not just your own safety but also safeguards the pedestrians. Also placed at intersections and crosswalks, this sign tells drivers to watch for any pedestrians crossing the road and to reduce speed and always be aware of people entering the roadway to cross.

Robert Moreschi  Posted by Robert Moreschi on December 26, 2012

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