Understanding Road Signs: Things To Remember

As a teenager or a new driver planning to set out on the road, understanding the different road signs and markings can be challenging. The signs are designed in different shapes, colors, and sizes to fit a specific category. Teen driver’s education can help you recognize traffic signs and comprehend their meaning. 

Knowing the traffic signs can help drivers make safe decisions, making them better drivers. The signs also provide advanced notification of what lies ahead of your journey.

Here is more information about understanding road signs:

Shapes of the Road Signs

Road signs come in different shapes that are specific to a particular rule on the road. The four main shapes of road signs are:


A circular traffic sign helps give orders to motorists. The sign can indicate a prohibition of particular vehicle types, showing direction and distance. Circular road signs can also instruct you on how to get from one place to another.


A triangular-shaped road sign helps warn drivers about hazards nearby. The signs can also warn you against dangers, such as a steep hill along your route.


A rectangular sign provides information motorists need on their journey, such as speed limits. The sign can also indicate parking restrictions or the distance between two cities.


A pentagon sign indicates you should reduce your speed and be alert for pedestrians. The sign also lets you know when you are entering and leaving a school zone.


A roundabout sign is also circular and indicates how many lanes are on a particular route or road. The signs also show if motorists should travel around it anticlockwise or clockwise.


An octagon-shaped road sign indicates a complete stop. Once you’ve looked both ways, you can proceed through the intersection.

Colors of the Road Signs

Traffic road signs are different colors corresponding to a specific road rule. The colors of the traffic road sign help you identify the sign and know what to do.


A red traffic sign indicates a warning command that you should stop when driving. The sign can also mean “wrong way” or “do not enter.” If you fail to stop at the sign, you risk a fine.


A yellow road sign indicates potential dangers ahead on your routes, such as a narrow bridge or a curve in the road. Always watch out for these signs to keep yourself and other passengers safe when driving.


The orange road signs are usually temporary and alert motorists to be careful when driving through an upcoming route. They inform you that you are entering an area where road maintenance is in progress.


Green road signs are the most common signs on street and mile markers. The signs indicate a motorist’s direction and the distance in miles to a specific destination.


Some cities use blue traffic signs alongside speed limits. The signs indicate how fast you are allowed to drive in specific areas.

Road Sign Pictures

Road traffic signs can use pictures to indicate a prohibition or warn you of any potential disasters. The pictures also help you know the actions that you are supposed to take. Some examples are:

•    Some road signs have an X, meaning stopping or parking is not allowed.
•    A road sign with a picture of an exhaust pipe indicates that the road ahead has poor-quality air.

Some road signs have different designs when entering or leaving a particular state, but they still mean the same thing. Different states are allowed to customize their signs according to the background design of their highway.

Highway Numbering

A numbered highway system helps drivers to avoid confusion and bring order to the highway system. The numbering system makes it easier for drivers to travel from a different state to another. Highways that use north-south routes have odd numbers, and east-west routes use even numbers. As you travel southwest to northeast, the numbers gradually increase from low to high.

Teen Drivers Education

Due to construction or changing traffic patterns, road signs will change consistently. Teen driver’s education programs can help you keep up with the most up-to-date and current road signs, helping you stay safe on the road.

If you are planning to drive long distances, ensure you recognize and understand every road sign and its specific meaning. Knowing the signs can help provide a safe environment for everyone else on the road.

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