Half of UK motorists can’t identify a roundabout sign, study finds

Two thirds of motorists also unaware about leaving two-second gap from the vehicle in front

Half of UK motorists can’t identify a roundabout sign, study finds
Image: Bigstock.

The road knowledge of UK motorists is so poor that half can’t even identify a roundabout sign, according to research by the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart.

The findings also show that nearly six in ten (57 per cent) drivers can’t identify the “dual carriageway ends” sign, while only a third are aware that green cats eyes on a motorway signal a slip road.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “This is truly shocking.

“The outcome of the survey brings to light some frightening statistics which demonstrates the need to constantly re-fresh on-road knowledge.”

The survey also found that only 43 per cent correctly recognised the Highway Code ‘dual carriageway ends’ sign, with respondents aged between 17 and 39 being the largest group to answer this incorrectly.

Widespread ignorance

When asked what to do when arriving to a scene of a serious crash, almost half (48 per cent) were unaware that the first thing you need to do is to warn others of the danger by turning on hazard lights.

Of those who participated, over half were not able to identify that a circle shaped sign demonstrates traffic signs that give orders – a crucial piece of information when on the road.

Drivers aged 70 onwards statistically scored below average on this question.

Worryingly, two-thirds of those surveyed admitted they were unable to recognise the colour of the reflective studs between a motorway and its slip road, with only one in five (20 per cent) of those aged 17 to 39 answering correctly that they are green.

Neil added: “With many young drivers showing high levels of traffic sign ignorance these results reinforce IAM RoadSmart’s view that road safety education should be taught as part of the National Curriculum in schools to prepare teenagers for their future driving career.

“Many drivers don’t look at the Highway Code regularly after they’ve passed their test, but no-one’s memory is perfect and it’s crucial to read and understand the most recent version of the Highway Code for the safety of all road users.”

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