Drivers fail to recognise basic road signsSurvey shows drivers struggle in UK and abroad

21 October 2008

No overtaking or dual carriageway approaching?

No overtaking or dual carriageway approaching?

UK drivers have problems identifying basic road signs in the UK and abroad, a new survey shows.

More than half of the drivers questioned by car rental firm Avis couldn't recognise common road signs such as 'no waiting', 'no cycling' and 'no overtaking'.

And a fifth of those polled thought the 'no overtaking' sign, which depicts two cars side-by-side, meant there was a dual carriageway approaching. Worryingly, 54% thought the 'no vehicles allowed' sign meant all vehicles were permitted.

Older drivers

Official figures show the average driver in the UK is aged between 40- and 49-years-old, which could mean many motorists have not studied the Highway Code for over 23 years.

Avis commercial director Daniel McCarthy said: 'Drivers over the age of 30 were not put through the modern day driving theory test and this could explain the survey results. We would recommend that drivers refresh their knowledge'.

Avis, which is teaming up with British Airways to create a series of worldwide driving guides, conducted the survey to see which foreign signs UK motorists struggled with.

Driving abroad

McCarthy said: 'It is well known that foreign roads signs can cause UK motorists headaches, but we were shocked to see that even the simplest of UK signs had drivers stumped'.

You can find a guide to car hire abroad on the Which? website. It includes information on excesses, exclusions and your legal rights – plus advice on avoiding car hire problems.

The Department for Transport website also offers information on driving in the UK. 

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