How well do you know the Highway Code?

While the Highway Code has received several revisions over the years, its aim remains the same: to serve as a guide to help keep all motorists safe on UK roads. Despite being a fundamental aspect of learning to drive as part of the theory test, there are many who still aren’t quite sure on what exactly all these road signs mean.

As an operator of Ford-approved dealerships in Andover, Yeovil and areas across Southern England, safety on the roads is hugely important to us, so we thought that we would put the nation’s knowledge to the test. Just how well do you know the Highway Code? Read our helpful reminders and then take the test!

The 101 on Road Signs

Road signs are the most integral part of the code, serving as either an instant instruction or highlighting any potential dangers ahead. It may not seem obvious, but the shape of the signs tells you what type of information they are relaying. Here’s a refresh on three of the most common shapes and, more importantly, what exactly they mean.

Circles – To Give Orders

30mph Road Sign

The most forceful of all signs, circles alert drivers to change their course on the road ahead to ensure maximum safety. Good examples include the changing of a speed limit or indicating that no vehicles over a certain height can proceed ahead.

Circle signs are either in blue or red, the former indicating a well instruction while the latter serving as a direct method of relaying the information. You may see instructions such as ‘Turn Right’ in a blue sign, but a red sign would tell you that you should not exceed a speed limit of 40mph ahead.

Triangles – To warn of dangers

14% Gradient Road Sign

Triangles provide information on dangers and significant changes in the road ahead that could cause you to alter course while driving. Good examples include roundabouts, sharp bends to the right and traffic merging onto the road ahead. Not taking these into account could put your brand new Ford vehicle or yourself at risk of danger, so while they aren’t direct orders, you should always keep them in mind.

Rectangles – Informing 

Queues Likely Road Sign

The final shape is designed to inform drivers. They can be seen in three different colours, with blue used exclusively for motorways, green used for direction signs on primary routes and white used to indicate directions on non-primary routes. In addition to this, white rectangles are also seen in conjunction with a triangle sign to offer more information about the respective danger.

 The Exceptions

Although these three shapes offer uniformity across the nation’s roads, there are a number of exceptions to the standard rules. One of these is the ‘STOP’ sign, which is the only order that uses a red hexagon. Another is the ‘Give Way’ sign, which uses an upside down triangle.

We got in touch with the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency to find out why you should brush up on your knowledge of the Highway Code.

“There shouldn’t be any reason drivers would get things wrong from one section of The Highway Code more than another. However, it is easy to forget that it is a code for everyone, and that drivers should know the rules that apply to the pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and horse riders around them to understand and share modern roads safely. It is also important to remind yourself of the rules on the kinds of roads or weather that you’re least familiar with, and to refresh your knowledge as the code is updated.”

  • Driver Vehicle Standards Agency

Will Driverless Vehicles help or hinder?

As driverless cars are being talked about more and more, some are even beginning to question whether the Highway Code could become redundant in the coming years. Not only will people not be in control, there’s also the concern that because people have no need to worry, we may start to forget the importance of this universal road language.

On 11 February this year, the government announced that it plans to review the Highway Code in light of the growing acceptance of driverless cars. The full action plan can be read by clicking here.

Take our Highway Code Quiz today!

Because we’re on the subject of the Highway Code, we thought it would be a great idea to include a short quiz for readers to put their knowledge to the test! After taking the quiz by clicking the button below, why not share your results on our Facebook page?

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Image Credit: Stevep2008, Colin Miligan, Eamon Curry, Jonas (Flickr.com)

This content was written by Ben Edwards. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.