Almost half of UK drivers forget meaning of common road signs

20% of people think the sign for cycle route ahead means no cyclists allowed.

Almost half (44%) of UK driving licence holders have forgotten common road sign meanings, according to new research. 

A survey found that 17% of people think the sign for ‘end of minimum speed limit’ means ‘maximum speed limit.

When asked the meaning of a T-junction road sign with priority, 20% of participants think the other driver has priority, and 15% of participants admit they have no idea what the sign means. 

When it comes to crossings, the sign warning drivers that they are approaching a zebra crossing is often mistaken for ‘pedestrians walking along the road’ (27%) and ‘traffic light patrolled pedestrian crossings’(21%).

The survey asks participants to identify what the sign for ‘follow emergency diversion route’ means, of which 11% of people think it is the sign for services and 46% of people admitted they did not know the answer. 

Survey results further support GOV UK accident data, which reveals that accidents involving pedal cyclists and cars are around 16,884 per year. The results show that 20% of people think the sign for ‘cycle route ahead’ means ‘no cyclists allowed’. 

Joel Kempson, car insurance expert at, said: “Everyone can benefit from brushing up on their driving knowledge, both in and out of the car. As driving test regulations have changed since 1973, those aged 48+ could see a significant benefit in some catch-up work.”

Uswitch’s guide to road signs can be viewed in full here

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