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Signs of a safe driver

Passing your theory and practical driving test is the first step on a lifelong journey of driving and while you may feel like you've learned all you need to know, we can almost guarantee that, before long, you will see something happening as you drive that you don't recognise.

Here we look at road signs and offer a brush up on the basics of understanding highway signage so you can use it to keep you safe and heading in the right direction.

Passing your theory and practical driving test is the first step on a lifelong journey of driving and while you may feel like you've learned all you need to know, we can almost guarantee that, before long, you will see something happening as you drive that you don't recognise.

Here we look at road signs and offer a brush up on the basics of understanding highway signage so you can use it to keep you safe and heading in the right direction.

There are five basic types of road sign in the UK: ORDERS WARNINGS NO WAITING NO STOPPING(CLEARWAY) DIRECTIONS INFORMATION ROAD WORKS The more you drive, the more you will see - Signs can help keep you safe and help ensure you remain on the right route. Stay aware of signage at all times. Traffic merging - direction and position of arrows shows who has priority. Vehicles joining the main carriageway may be merging into your lane - stay alert and get ready to move out. If you are joining the main carriageway you may choose to stay in the left-hand lane for an easier route into the flow of traffic. These signs are easily confused and drivers may not know what they really mean. No waiting' means you can stop your car to drop off or pick up, but any longer MAY be considered waiting/parking and you could be fined.A Clearway route means no stopping at all (unless there are times stated on a white plate below). Chevron signs could save your life on rural roads, but they're also really useful on major roads where you might be travelling fast. Unfortunately, too many drivers lose control on bends because they fail to slow down.When you see this sign you need to be careful, slow down, and focus on the road ahead so you can adjust your speed and steering in time. 45% Cars in 30mph zones break the speed limit 46% Cars on motorways (70mph) break the speed limit 75% Articulated HGVs on single carriageway (40mph) break the speed limit 47% Motorcycles in 30mph zones break the speed limit 46% Motorcycles on motorways (70mph) break the speed limit 82% Articulated HGVs on dual carriageway (50mph) break the speed limit In 2014 excessive speed for road conditions was a factor in: *Department for Transport - Key Outcome Indicators: Strategic Framework for Road Safety 2014 Traffic estimates reveal: Yes, this one seems obvious, but it is often ignored. A 70mph sign means that is the maximum speed you can travel at - it is not the recommended speed. A 60mph speed limit on a country road may be unsuitable if the weather is bad or hedges on either side of the road are overgrown. REALLY USEFUL SIGNS YOU MAY NOT UNDERSTAND OR TAKE NOTICE OF WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SPEED LIMITS ARE IGNORED VARIABLE SIGNS AND ACTIVE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT On major routes and motorways drivers will see overhead signs which can be updated in real-time to control traffic for a number of situations. These signs are extremely useful and let drivers know what is ahead. For instance, a queue of traffic caused by an incident, or a diversion route which will take them off the carriageway. Active Traffic Management is a system used on a small number of motorways to ease heavy traffic conditions. Overhead signs direct traffic to use the hard shoulder and indicate required speed limits. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THIS PAGE FATAL ACCIDENTS SERIOUS INJURY ACCIDENTS

Know your signs and stay safe on the roads

The bottom line to staying safe on the roads is observation and anticipation - observe the signs, conditions and traffic around you so that you will be able to anticipate the sorts of situations that can lead to collisions and incidents.

For more information on road signs, click here, and for more information about how Coverbox's car insurance for young drivers can help you stay safe on the road, click here.