When your teen starts learning to drive, it can be an exciting but daunting time. Learning to drive is a rite of passage that helps teenagers to become responsible adults and gain freedom. But you’ll obviously be worried about the risks of driving.
So, it’s vital that your teen learns all the crucial elements of driving in order to stay safe. That includes knowing what road signs mean. So, let’s take a look at four road signs that every teen should know when learning to drive.
Teaching Your Teens About the Different Shapes and Colors of Road Signs
Before looking at the specific road signs that are important for teen drivers to know about, a quick word about road sign shapes and colors is needed.
It’s a good idea for your teenager to first learn about the shapes and colors of signs before getting to know individual road signs.
The most important road signs are color-coded to help drivers understand what kind of thing is being communicated. So:
- Red indicates stopping or danger.
- Yellow indicates warnings.
- Black and white indicate regulations and laws.
- Orange indicates construction or road maintenance.
- Green indicates the direction or place.
- Blue indicates motorist services, such as gas and rest stops.
- Brown indicates recreational or historical sites.
Road signs also come in eight shapes, each of which has a specific purpose. The shapes are:
- Octagons for stop signs.
- Inverted triangles for yield signs.
- Vertical rectangles for regulatory signs.
- Pentagons for marking school zones.
- Pennants for signifying no passing zones.
- Horizontal rectangles for guidance signs.
- Circles for signifying railroad crossings.
- Diamonds for warning signs, such as indicating work zones.
1. Stop Sign
Of course, your teen should learn all road signs when you teach him or her to drive, but he or she should start by learning the most common signs. One of those is the stop sign.
As you’re sure to know, a stop sign means the driver needs to stop. A stop sign is almost always accompanied by a line in the road indicating where the driver needs to stop. In most places, the driver is required to come to a full stop before proceeding.
Also, some stop signs are accompanied by smaller signs showing if it is a two-way or all-way stop.
At stop signs, drivers should completely stop their vehicles for at least two seconds, even if the intersection is clear.
2. Do Not Enter Sign
Do not enter signs to make it clear that the driver should not enter. But it’s important your teen driver notices these signs.
Quite simply, a do not enter sign means traffic cannot drive on that road. The sign usually signals an exit or a one-way road.
Even though a do not enter sign is clear, many drivers who are on unfamiliar roads can miss the signs and end up going the wrong way on a one-way road. In turn, that can lead to traffic accidents.
So, make sure your teen driver knows how important it is to look out for do not enter signs.
3. No Parking Sign
The last thing you’ll want for your teen is for him or her to receive a parking fine for parking in the wrong place, so make sure your kid knows to look out for parking signs and reads them carefully.
Some no parking signs can be a little confusing, with different times and days shown for parking permission. So, that’s why your teen needs to make sure the signs are read in detail.
4. Speed Limit Signs
According to the U.S. National Safety Council, speeding caused thirty deaths per day on average in 2020.
Therefore, it’s imperative that your teen understands the dangers of speeding and always sticks to the speed limit.
A typical speed limit road sign indicates the maximum speed on the road that standard vehicles must travel at. Some speed limit signs will indicate two speeds, which are the maximum and minimum allowed on the road.
Also, those speed limits don’t always necessarily stay the same. They could change when roadworks occur, for instance. So, it’s vital your teen always looks at speed limit signs, even on roads he or she drives down regularly.
In addition to maximum and minimum speed limit signs, which are known as combination signs, your teen should be aware of truck speed signs. These indicate that large vehicles like trucks need to abide by the maximum speed limit given, which is different from the speed limit for standard vehicles.