Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. Through her years working in th...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

UPDATED: Apr 5, 2022

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How smart of a driver are you? Can you pass a simple road sign test? You may be surprised how many people can fail a road sign test. While it’s true that the red, yellow, and green lights haven’t changed and the stop sign is pretty consistent where ever you go, not all road signs are created equal. Some even look the same but mean vastly different things. There are regulatory signs, warning signs for road conditions, and a lot more symbols that are important to be aware of while on the road.

The T Crossing Sign

This is not your first initial or a yellow sign indicating that Tom lives around the corner. The yellow T road sign means you are approaching a road with oncoming traffic. While many of these roads may have a stop sign or 3 way stop, many simply have a yield sign so you need to be prepared for possible oncoming traffic from your left and right sides.

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Slippery When Wet

While this is one of the cute road signs around it’s also one that all drivers should take very seriously. Not only are the roads ahead potentially wet but it is not guaranteed that other drivers know how to best navigate their vehicles in the rain. A lot can happen to a car on a wet road, from hydroplaning into a disaster or a mere skid, there are plenty more reasons to be cautious than not. You do not want to take any risks when it comes to a wet road.

The Roundabout Road Sign

The bad news is that this sign does not indicate where to drop off your recycling. The good news is that roundabouts are kind of fun. They certainly break up the monotony of city traffic and even help control traffic flow (especially in residential areas). However, you have to pay attention and remember that there are probably several entrances to this roundabout and some folks don’t always employ the best cautionary practices. Slow down, always be on the lookout for pedestrian crossing points, and be prepared to yield to other drivers who think they just entered a race track.

Road Narrows Ahead Road Sign

We are not sure what to think of this road sign at first glance. Is it the footprint of a spider or a cool logo for an alien spaceship? It is neither, but rather a road sign indicating the road is about to narrow ahead. Just slow down, keep two hands on the wheel and you will get through it. Heavy vehicles may have a harder time navigating narrow roads, so there may be also an additional sign that discloses which vehicles are permitted to pass.

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Playground Road Sign

Most of us probably see children that love to play in neighborhood parks and playgrounds. This road sign indicates that there is a playground up ahead and that this is one of those temporary situations while driving in which you need to slow down. Children aren’t the most aware human beings out there, so it is best to proceed with caution to ensure everyone’s safety.

No Right Turn On Red

Did you know that in some cases you can make a right turn at a red light?

Many drivers miss this crucial piece of information during driving lessons. Unless there is a sign disclosing that a right turn at a red light is illegal, it is permissible, though drivers must always be alert of areas subject to pedestrian crossing regardless of what signs may be located near traffic lights. Relax, roll down your window, wait for the light to turn green, and then take your right turn on the red light. You may just end up saving a life.

Firetruck Crossing Road Sign

Firemen save lives, it is really as simple as that. This road sign with a firetruck in a yellow background is telling you to be on alert for a fire truck crossing. There quite possibly is a fire station ahead and fire trucks routinely come in and go out of the fire station. While some firehouses have dedicated lights, others have road signs to help all drivers participate in the appropriate awareness.

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Farm Equipment Road Sign

John Deere is much more famous than the DMV,  however, this yellow road sign is not a subliminal ad for you to buy a tractor. Farm equipment has to cross roads and highways at times too, and very few drivers have an engine to compete with your V8. Any slow-moving vehicle can pose a serious risk to you, other drivers, and the farmer riding their vehicle. So slow down, always be looking for farm equipment entering the road, and be prepared to stop, yield, and do whatever is necessary to ensure safe passage.

Falling Rocks Road Sign

This road sign looks a cool version of Tetris but falling rocks unfortunately hurt a lot more than striking out on your iPhone. In some areas, falling rocks are a major source of car accidents. These signs are typically not placed where a few pebbles can fall every now and then. A rolling rock can take out your car and even be fatal in some circumstances. Slow down, open your eyes and look for safer ground when you can.

Deer Crossing Road Sign

It may feel like you are in a zoo when a deer crossing road sign appears; however, trust us when we say you are probably not in a zoo. Deers are fast and heavy creatures who really have no idea who you are, your traffic patterns, nor do they have the capacity to care. They can run across the street in seconds and write off your Lamborghini in a flash, only to get up and magically bounce away. You cannot count on being lucky in a car accident when a deer is hit, as many often lead to serious or fatal injuries for the driver. Never underestimate the caution needed whenever a deer or similar crossing sign is around.

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Cow Crossing Road Sign

This road sign almost seems like there would be a great steakhouse around but sadly it’s not an advertisement for dinner. The traffic police are telling you to watch out for cows. Cows are big. Cows are slow. Cows will crunch your car. If you hit a cow you will never forget it and may not even live to tell the tale. Slow down and respect these animals as you are now trespassing on their home turf and you don’t want to mess with them.

Airport Road Sign

This sign indicates that you need to be aware that an airport is around, which means a lot of people are exiting the area at once. Some low gliding aircraft may just happen to startle you and even some flashing lights at nighttime. Don’t worry, it’s not an episode of the X-files but just a typical airport area where planes come and go every day. You will be safe, just proceed with caution and if someone is driving like they have only a few minutes to catch their flight, it would be in your own and everyone else’s interest to just let them pass.

Did you pass?

While some of these road signs may seem obvious, many people who take this test don’t achieve 100% on the first try. The right to drive is a privilege and we should all do our best to respect the rules of the road for our safety and the safety of others. If you need additional driving courses or to refresh your driving know-how, now is a better time than later. There are many important things to be aware of while driving, and heeding road signs is just one aspect of maintaining a safe road for everyone.